Unfortunately, many poison exposure incidents start with 3 little words: “I dare you…” A group of friends egging each other on, calling bravery into question (and often offering money if the dare is completed) can quickly turn a flippant suggestion into a potential medical emergency.
Here are some dares the IPC staff has consulted on:
- A 40 year old male was dared to chew and swallow a lizard for $50. A live one. There is a reason we have the Brookfield Zoo’s senior reptile keeper’s phone number on our quick number list!
- A young adult was dared to drink a bottle of Dave’s Insanity hot sauce for $25. Dave’s Insanity is estimated to be 60 times spicier than the well known and comparably tame Tobasco® sauce. Imagine how that would feel coursing through your gastrointestinal tract.
- An inebriated adult ingested 2 worms and drank a friend’s urine for 2 packs of cigarettes.
- A teenager was dared to drink a liter of vinegar for $60.
- A high school student was dared to eat a mushroom growing on the football field. It turned out to be quite a toxic mushroom.
- A young adult was dared to drink a gallon of orange juice, which is high in potassium (an electrolyte with key roles in the body including the heart). Tony, one of our extraordinary call center specialist, took that call, and he calculated that this person ingested a potentially toxic amount of potassium! Yes even OJ can be toxic.
- A 21 year old got paid $500 to eat a gold fish (live).
- An 11 year old male drank water out of a gas station toilet…for free.
Some of these everyday items may seem harmless, and many of them are even edible. But remember that anything can be poisonous if enough is ingested; it all depends on the dose. We hope these tales will make future darees pause before letting their ego get the best of them. But they also serve to remind that you really can call the IPC for ANY type of exposure…never feel embarrassed, because as you can see, we really have heard it all! Our goal is to help those who have been exposed to any potentially toxic substances, in whatever way it may occur happens! Call us anytime 1-800-222-1222.
See you next Tuesday!!
Author: Carol DesLauriers, PharmD