Toxic Topics

Scholastic Develops a Program to Teach Tweens About Medication Safety

In 2011, poison centers managed over 140,000 cases of medicine poison exposures involving children ages 6 to 19. Read more...

Highly Concentrated "Single-Load Liquid Laundry Packets" Can Cause Serious Harm to Young Children

A 7-month-old boy died after eating a laundry detergent packet in Florida, highlighting the dangers poison control officials have been warning of for more than a year. If confirmed, his could be the first reported death in the nation tied to the detergent packets, though so far this year alone, more than 5,000 children have been sickened by them in the U.S. Read more...

Candy and Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning continues to be among the most common and serious environmental health threat to children under the age of six. Most children are poisoned through chronic, low-level exposures. Lead poisoning can cause problems such as lower IQ, hyperactivity, impaired growth, learning disabilities, and behavior problems. Read more...

Know When to Get Help

On December 2, 2008, Carson Starkey of Austin, TX, died of alcohol poisoning following a fraternity hazing ritual at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Read more...

You Need to Know: Infant's & Children's Acetaminophen Medicine Changes

Beginning in June 2011, the formulation of both infants' and children's products were standardized to the same concentration (160 mg per 5 mL). Also, the design of the bottle was changed so that the opening is smaller. Read more...

A Parent's Guide to Poison Prevention

Because of young children's curiosity and their unique behavioral patterns (e. g., hand to mouth activity), it is not surprising that over half of the 2.4 million cases of poisonings reported to poison control centers each year involve children less than 5 years of age. Read more...

Poison Center Experts Available Around the Clock

You just found your toddler eating toothpaste-Will that hurt him? What types of poisonous spiders live in the Rio Grande Valley? How do you get rid of hazardous household products? Are those blackberries in your backyard safe to eat? Throughout the year, the Texas Poison Center Network (TPCN) answers these types of questions and responds to poison-related emergencies in more than 1,000 calls a day. Read more...

Summer Hazards

Our Texas Poison Center Network (TPCN) would like to remind you of some of the dangers associated with the warm summer season. With school out and children moving to new environments like day care, summer camp, and staying with relatives, come new hazards and potential poisonings. Read more...

Keeping the Office Poison-Free

The vast majority of poison exposures occur in the home but the office has its own risks. For example, in 2008, 1.75 percent of all poison exposures reported to poison centers occurred in the office - putting offices a distant second to homes as sites where poison exposures occurred. Read more...

How Can I Keep My Family Safe from Salmonella?

Chances are that sometime during the past 24 months, your body was invaded by a bacterium or virus that had taken up residence in a food you ate. Odds are that it didn't land you in the hospital but the food poisoning it gave you probably made you feel miserable. Read more...

A Hunting We Will Go...

Fall is here, and that means hunting season, too. So we're taking aim at some of the poison areas that can be troublesome for the hunter and his family. Read more...

Prescription Drug Abuse Up Sharply In Youth

Recently sheriff's deputies were called to a school because a 12 year old child was passing out methadone pills to another student. Read more...

What's the Story on Childrens Over the Counter Cold Medication

If you're a parent, chances are you've given your little ones cold medicine when they're sick. Now the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] is considering changing the labels on these medicines and the companies that make the most popular brands are already pulling them off the shelves. Read more...

Cleaning Up The Rumors About Hand Sanitizers

Recently, an email has circulated warning parents not to use hand sanitizers due to the danger they pose to children. And while hand sanitizers can be dangerous if swallowed, actual symptoms from their misuse are extremely rare. Read more...

How Should I Get Rid Of My Old Medicines?

In the past, Poison Centers have recommended just flushing those old unwanted or expired drugs down the toilet or putting them down the sink. These recommendations were made specifically to prevent accidental ingestion and poisoning of children and pets. Read more...

How Can I Keep Up With All The Recalls?

Lead Poisoning! Food Poisoning! How am I supposed to keep up with all of the recalls? Have you asked yourself that question recently? It seems like every day we hear about another product that has been recalled for one reason or another. Read more...

Venemous Animals of Texas

A venemous animal is one that produces a poison (venom) to attack its prey or defend itself. Some animal's venom is more toxic than others. People, who have an encounter with these animals, have varied reactions to their venom. Read more...

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

Each year in the United States, more than 500 accidental deaths are caused by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. It is considered the leading cause of death from poisoning in the United States. The Texas Poison Center Network documents hundreds of carbon monoxide poisonings each year. Read more...

Food Poisoning: The Unwelcome Dinner Guest

"It must be something I ate". When you think of a hamburger, what comes to mind? Is it a delicious treat--hot, juicy and fresh from the grill? Or do you imagine "Montezuma's Revenge" or some other unwelcome gastrointestinal upset? Read more...

Lead Poisoning: What's All the Fuss About Lead?

Lead poisoning is a condition caused by swallowing or inhaling lead particles. Even small amounts of lead can be dangerous, especially to young children. Because lead is available from many sources, children in nearly all parts of the U.S. are affected by lead poisoning. Read more...

Pesticides and Child Safety

Although pesticides can be beneficial to society, they can be dangerous if used carelessly or if they are not stored properly and out of the reach of children. According to data collected from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, in 1996 alone, an estimated 78,000 children were involved in common household pesticide-related poisonings or exposures in the United States. Read more...

Know Your Plants

Each year over 100,000 people in the United States call Poison Control Centers regarding plant and mushroom exposures. Young children, and sometimes pets, will often chew and eat anything within reach no matter how it tastes. Read more...

Fall Poisonings

Fall is the season of change. The leaves begin to change colors, the temperature begins to drop, and our whole mentality begins to shift towards "the holidays." First we have Labor Day, then Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas. All these holidays bring about a whole different type of dangers into our home. Read more...

Halloween Safety Tips

Safety tips on how to keep you and your family safe this Halloween. Read more...

Thinking Medication Safety As The Kids Go Back To School

Most schools will soon be back in session and for some Texas children, who take prescription medications during the day, a little extra planning is required before they head off to school or daycare. Every year the Texas Poison Center Network receives calls from schools and daycare centers about medication being found on floors, in diaper bags or being shared among students. Read more...

Winter Hazards: Mercury

Winter time means Santa time but it can also mean cold and flu time. It can also mean exposure to another poison hazard. Read more...

Tis the Season to Be Poisoned

Many accidental poisonings occur when parents are distracted. Holiday activities and holiday entertaining certainly increase this risk. During the excitement of the holidays, temptations for children are often more than they can handle. Take a few minutes to poison-proof your home and make this holiday season a safe one. Read more...

Have a "Poison-Free" Holiday and Winter

With money being tight and heating prices skyrocketing upward, many people are weathering the cold rather than turning on the heat. But eventually, the heat must be turned on and that may expose your family to a serious toxic risk - carbon monoxide. Read more...

January is the Deadliest Month for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

According to a new study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first month of the year is the worst for carbon monoxide poisoning. At least two people die each day from carbon-monoxide poisoning in January - three times the fatality rate recorded in August and July. Read more...

Using Insect Repellents Safely

Mosquitoes, biting flies, and ticks can be annoying and sometimes pose a serious risk to public health. In certain areas of the U.S., mosquitoes can transmit diseases like equine and St. Louis encephalitis. Read more...

Summer Picnic Tips to Keep You and Your Family Safe from Food Poisoning

Summer is here and most of us take advantage of the warm weather to hold barbecues and picnics. Most common food related illnesses are caused by improper storage or handling of food. Depending on the kind of bacteria causing the problem, symptoms of the most common kinds of food poisoning may include one or more of the following: nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and fever. Read more...

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