Summer is here! Concerts, county fairs and parties are back after more than a year of social distancing and isolation. For some people, the recreational use and misuse of prescription medications is part of the summer party experience. Unfortunately, if you get a pill online or from a friend of a friend, it is likely … more
All around Illinois – and throughout the world – people have adapted their eating habits to stay-at-home orders created in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Family meals are now commonplace. With the additional cooking duties, experienced home cooks are becoming amateur chefs and non-cookers are becoming accomplished home cooks. (Source: TheChoppingBlock.com) But new (and … more
I was going to title this “Vaping THC for Dummies,” but I thought it may be offensive to some and instructional to others. Frankly, until people started getting sick from what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awkwardly termed “E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use Associated Lung Injury” (EVALI), I never really gave … more
Summertime in Illinois is a great time of year with families traveling for weekend getaways, hiking, camping, fishing and a host of other outdoor activities. Depending on where you go and where you stay, there may be bugs and plants that can leave their mark on you. Here are some of the plants and insects in … more
‘Tis the season for family, friends, fun, and . . . food poisoning (ewww). For some unfortunate merrymakers, holiday feasts will start in the dining room and end in the bathroom. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that every year, more than 76 million people fall victim to a foodborne illness. … more
As a former Peace Corps Volunteer (2002-2004, Republic of Kiribati/K-29) and a mom, I’m a strong believer and supporter of “it takes a village” especially when it comes to creating safer home, play and work environments.
For children ages 18-36 months, poisoning is the #1 cause of injury-related hospitalization and death In Illinois, there are more people hospitalized for poisonings than for injuries from firearms and motor vehicle collisions combined 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths are caused by drugs/medications As the nation’s oldest poison center prepares to kick off its … more
Last year, around this time, news reports highlighted an 8 year old Californian girl with an incredible and truly fortunate story. She had contracted rabies following a scratch from a stray cat and survived (albeit with intensive medical care), despite not receiving the rabies vaccine. She was very lucky because rabies, although rare, is almost … more
Have you ever wondered why environmentalists are so concerned about the way we dispose of even trace amounts of mercury, such as that contained in your fever thermometers, thermostats, and compact fluorescence lightbulbs (CFLs)? The answer comes from a hard lesson we learned over a half century ago involving an environmental disaster at a … more
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 … more
We are currently busy with other callers and will be with you shortly . . . I really hate our new phone hold message . . . and so do those who use our services . . . but we had to make the change to reflect our new reality. For the past three years, … more
Calling the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) during an emergency can be a very stressful experience. As a parent calling about your child, your only concern is your child’s well-being; as a nurse or physician calling about a patient in your care, your focus is ensuring the best outcome for that patient. Even in a situation … more
It won’t make you prettier. It won’t make you wealthier. It WILL make you feel good, because you’ll be automatically helping The Illinois Poison Center It is believed that Americans spend nearly 2 billion dollars shopping online each year. One of the busiest shopping days is soon approaching: Valentine’s Day. Why not give something that … more
No, the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) is not a clandestine arm of the CIA, FBI, or KGB. However, it is staffed by a team of well qualified “SPIs” around the clock. So, what exactly is a SPI you ask?
It’s that time of year when many people set out to better themselves; the turn of the calendar gives us a fresh start and a clean slate. Here are two resolutions that have the potential for toxicity and some IPC-recommended resolutions as well.
The following post was contributed by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. If you are a senior adult, you may think that poison centers and poison prevention are mainly for kids. But seniors are at risk for poisoning, too! As we age, we often take more and more medicine, whether prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin or … more
As part of my reconnaissance for writing this post, I polled my Facebook friends and asked, “What do you think is the most toxic thing about the Holidays”? One of my favorite replies was, “relatives”. Well, unfortunately that is more “Dear Prudence’s” purview than my own, but below you will find some information on what … more
If you are a regular reader of IPC’s blog, you know that we can get some pretty wild calls. In honor of T-day 2011, here are some of the most bizarre food-related Thanksgiving calls our staff has gotten over the years. Jessica S, PIP* The most memorable Thanksgiving call that sticks out in my head … more
If you are a babysitter/sitter/nanny, or ever entrust your precious progeny to one of them, then this article is for you. About half of the IPC’s 80,000 exposures every year involve kids age 5 and under, and more than 90% of all exposures happen in the home. I think we all would agree that keeping … more
A common Halloween concern, aside from the occasional ghoul and goblin, is the possibility of a child or family member being exposed to tainted candy. However, we recently came across some products and practices in the news that could present new concerns this Halloween. Here are a few that really stuck out: marijuana shaped candy, … more
A Year of Regulatory Success for Poison Centers As an administrator of the Illinois Poison Center, this has been a frustrating year as the program continues to have severe financial challenges. In 2011, the IPC suffered a $400,000 loss of funding this year on top of a $600,000 funding decrease in 2009-2010. To make up … more
There are just way too many “My Child Ate…” scenarios for us to write about! However here are a few honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the “My Child Ate…” series but are just as important: “My Child Ate… The Dog’s Food” Although it might be uberly gross to discover that your child has forgone … more
Over the next 4 weeks the IPC staff will contribute some of their most compelling cases from the call center that often start with three words, “my child ate…” We hope you enjoy this blog series, and we encourage you to share your own “My Child Ate…” stories or your poison center experience. There is a burgeoning fascination with … more
It’s one of the biggest poison myths of all time: ‘all-natural’ or ‘organic’ substances are safer than their man-made or ‘chemical’ counterparts. However, the fact is that some of the most toxic substances known to man come straight from mother earth (or her creatures). There may be many positives about organic or all-natural products, but … more