Everyone at some point has cringed while watching the Hollywood version of their profession butchered in a movie. For example, law enforcement hates how police are shown jumping rooftops, forensics experts take minutes to find evidence, and attorneys take a couple hours in a courtroom to convict a perpetrator. We in the poison business have the same cringe-worthy moments when watching movies where someone has taken a lethal ingestion but survives due to a ridiculously simple or outrageously dramatic approach to the treatment of a poisoning or overdose. We genuinely fear that the general public will believe in what they are viewing.
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 »
One day you’re awakened by the sound of your smoke alarm with no signs of smoke or gas leaks, what do you do? This “chirping” or “beeping” sound could possibly be a sign that your detector has a low battery. After changing the battery, it is important to check the test alarm.
But what does it mean if after changing batteries, the test alarm is not functioning? If your detector was installed over 10 years ago it is possible that your detector has passed its expiration date. Hard to believe, but just like milk, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can go bad over time. Read more »
It is my turn to write the blog and for the past few days, colleagues have been after me to write something kind of sexy, but with a poisoning angle. The problem is that now that I have qualified to join AARP, I am unsure that I can replicate a summary of sexually transmitted toxins with the same level of confidence as Carol.
So here I am, writing a Valentine’s Day blog, 50 years old, male and unsure of my confidence. That of course can only mean one thing: Viagra. Read 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.
The most memorable Thanksgiving call that sticks out in my head was about 10-11 years ago from a woman who simply asked, “Is it safe to eat a turkey that is playing jingle bells?” As the family sat down to their Thanksgiving meal, everyone began looking around asking each other, ‘where is that music coming from?’ Read 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 children safe is the most important part of babysitting. Potentially harmful substances come in many forms (liquids, tablets, solids, sprays and gases), and can look or smell like things that are good to eat and drink. As you know, young children are curious, and they learn about their environment by touching and placing things in their mouths.
My motto has always been, “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”. The time to ask questions is before the parents walk out, and when kids are involved, always prepare for the unexpected! Below is a list of information to gather before you are left in charge (or leave others in charge of your child(ren): Read more »
Did you know we were in the middle of snake biting season? No we’re not suggesting that people are biting snakes this time of year, but snakes are indeed biting people. During the months of May-October, more snake bite incidents are recorded in the U.S. than any other time of the year. Considering we are in peak season, addressing this issue now seemed timely; just in case you and your family plan to go hiking or camping soon. Read more »