Toxic Topics

Child-Resistant is NOT Child-Proof

It seems as though those hard-to-open bottles have been around forever. And for new parents today, they have. But what is the reason and history behind the child-resistant packages? Back to the 1960s children were dying from poisonings in large numbers. The country developed an education program to warn parents of the dangers of household items but this was not enough. Children were still dying. It was decided that if a barrier was created between the children and household products and medicine, children would be safer. This led to the passage of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970. This law states: “The packaging required must be designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five years of age to open within a reasonable time, and not difficult for normal adults to use properly.”…

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Don’t Google…Just Call!

Isn’t technology great!  We’ve become a technology-based society. If we want to go someplace, we use a GPS device instead of finding a map. Our music is played on devices that fit in the palm of your hand. If we need to look up a definition of a word, we reach for the computer or tablet or smart phone and use dictionary.com instead of reaching for the dictionary. If we have a question about anything, our first thought is to “Google It”. And there is a definite place for this technology. Usually, when you use search engines to find something on the internet, it takes some time to find the exact information you’re looking for.…

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New Study Points to Poisoning Dangers for Babies 6 Months and Younger

A new study raises awareness of the dangers of unintentional exposure to poisons for babies 6 months and younger. Traditionally, this has not been an age group that poison center educators have focused on, because infants aren’t up and walking about. But while a young baby may be less mobile, the data shows that babies are indeed finding their way to harmful objects. It also stresses the need for added parental/caregiver caution when giving medications to this age group. This study looked at calls made to all U.S. poison centers from January 2004 to December 2013 for babies 6 months and younger.…

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The Dangers of Flakka

Use of a dangerous synthetic cathinone drug called alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PDP), popularly known as “Flakka,” is surging in Florida and is also being reported in other parts of the country, according to news reports. In some parts of the country, it is also called “gravel” because of its white crystal chunks that have been compared to aquarium gravel. Alpha-PDP is chemically similar to other synthetic cathinone drugs popularly called “bath salts” but like bath salts, flakka has the potential to be much more dangerous than cocaine. Flakka takes the form of a white or pink, foul-smelling crystal that can be eaten, snorted, injected, or vaporized in an e-cigarette or similar device.…

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Venomous Animals of Texas

A venomous 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. Click here to download the document and read more.

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Who Do I Call If I Think Someone Has Been Poisoned?

According to the CDC, poisoning is the No. 1 cause of injury death in the U. S., with most deaths happening due to drug and medicine misuse and abuse. More than 3.1 million calls were received by poison centers last year. Anyone can call. Poison centers aren’t just for parents whose children get into a cleaning product. Approximately half of those calls involved children under the age of six but the majority of deaths and serious cases occurred in teens and adults involving medications. According to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, poisoning causes 35,000 deaths each year.…

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Halloween Safety Tips

Trick or Treaters Carry a flashlight Walk, don’t run Stay on sidewalks Obey all traffic signals Stay in familiar neighborhoods Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house If no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape Approach house that are lit Stay away from and don’t pet animals you don’t know Parents Young Children should be accompanied by an adult Costumes should be of flame-retardant materials Older children should know where to reach their parents and when to go home Tell all your children to bring the candy home to be inspected before eating Look at the wrapping carefully and toss out anything that looks suspicious…

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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. Children like the attractive packaging and good smells and are drawn to the colorful substances of many of the products found around the home. Poisoning can occur at any time and in any place (e. g., your own home, while visiting relatives). And many everyday household items and medications that are often not thought of as dangerous can cause harm to a young child including: Aspirin Automatic dishwasher detergent Cigarette butts Iron Toilet bowl cleaners Some of the Most Dangerous Poisons Antifreeze Car wheel cleaner (with hydrofluoric acid) Carbon monoxide Certain medications (e.…

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

These new laundry packets dissolve in the washing machine. Because they are colorful and squishy, they are attractive to children. They can look like candy or something fun to play with. Poison centers receive many calls each year about children getting into laundry detergent. Swallowing it often causes mild stomach upset, if there are any symptoms at all, but poison center experts say the new highly concentrated single-load liquid laundry detergent packets seem to be different. Some children who have gotten the product in their mouths have had excessive vomiting, wheezing and gasping. Some get very sleepy. Some have had breathing problems serious enough to need a ventilator to help them breathe.…

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A Word of Caution As You Treat the Flu

What do a lot of people do when they feel achy and are running a fever? They go straight to the medicine cabinet for an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine. While OTC drugs can be helpful in controlling flu symptoms, it is easy to overdose on one very commonly available drug. Acetaminophen is often used in pain medications such as Tylenol, and is also the active ingredient in many other types of OTC drugs such as various types of Vick’s Formula44, Nyquil, Robitussin and Theraflu and many more. As a matter of fact, acetaminophen is the most common active ingredient in drugs sold in America today, being found in over 600 OTC and prescription medicines.…

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