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Hot Dogs, Button Batteries, and Pediatric ER Visits

Posted: May 29th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

The IPC wrote a blog several months ago on the potential dangers of button batteries during the past holiday season.  As an update, a new study recently published in Pediatrics, shows that ER visits related to batteries have doubled in the past 20 years; most of the increase has occurred in the past 8 years as button batteries have become more ubiquitous in the marketplace. Read more »

Laundry Detergent ‘Pods’: A new product formulation with unexpected toxicity

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

For years the IPC has received calls involving a child getting into laundry detergent.  Luckily, an unintentional taste of powder or liquid laundry detergent by a child is expected to cause minimal toxicity: throat or stomach irritation at the worst. In fact, most children don’t develop any symptoms at all.  However, over the past couple months we (and the other poison centers in the country) have been seeing a new formulation of laundry detergent that is causing alarming toxicity.   Read more »

Coasters for a Cause: Six Flags Great America and the Illinois Poison Center

Posted: May 17th, 2012 | No Comments »

Great Fun, Great Deal , Great Cause!

Buy discounted tickets to Six Flags Great America and earn dollars to support the Illinois Poison Center (IPC).

Purchase online tickets to Six Flags Great America Coasters for a Cause Event held May 18th and 19th. Tickets are discounted to $28 and $5 will be donated to the Illinois Poison Center for each ticket purchased! To get the deal, you must buy the tickets online and use the promo code “IPCMCHC”.

Poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths and hospitalizations from poisonings outnumber hospitalizations from firearms and motor vehicle accidents combined. Read more »

Public Health vs. Healthcare: The Dual Nature of the Poison Control Center Mission

Posted: May 15th, 2012 | No Comments »

Public health is distinct from health care in that public health focuses on the prevention of disease within populations, while health care focuses on the treatment of disease in individuals.

(2002 National Health Policy Forum)


The first poison control center in the nation was started in Illinois in 1953.  Its main purpose was to provide information to assist in the delivery of healthcare to poisoned patients. Ever since then, providing expert treatment recommendations and advice has been at the heart of poison center service for almost 60 years.

Using the definition that health care is the treatment of disease (or injury) in individuals, after reflecting on their experience with the Illinois Poison Center (IPC), most people would say that main poison center function is to provide information that facilitates health care.  Poison centers reduce the injury and harm due to poisoning in the individual. This can be evidenced that poison centers reduce the time patients stay in a hospital by a day or more when they are admitted for severe poisoning – which saves millions of dollars each year. Read more »

To Dads….on Mother’s Day

Posted: May 8th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

This post goes out to the all the Dads trying to make Mother’s Day special.  You may want to let Mom sit back and relax while you provide some household cleaning, help out with daily medications for the kids, or possibly even get the little critters involved in a little craft making! All of these are great ideas and traditions, but need to be handled with care.

Here are some tips to keep you, Mom, and the kids safe: Read more »

Down and Dirty Facts about Lead Contaminants in Soil

Posted: May 3rd, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Now that warm weather is here, you are no doubt starting your garden again. One thing you may not have considered is the amount of lead in the soil in your garden. Lead poisoning can cause children to be overly active, inattentive, and even a small amount in a child can lower intelligence and slow nervous system development. A recent expose entitled “Ghost Factories: Poison in the Ground” was published in USA TODAY on April 20, 2012 and it pointed out the seriousness of lead contamination in geographic areas on or near old lead smelters. Lead levels in the soil samples collected by USA TODAY were generally highest in locations like Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia, usually in the areas where industrial sites are or were located. Read more »