Spring in Illinois is a joyous time after months of winter grey. The warm sun, chirping birds and emerging flowers bring a feeling of rebirth to the state. With the first signs of warmth, many people start preparing with spring cleaning and preparing their outdoor lawn and gardens.
Poison centers like the IPC commonly handle eye exposure cases, with over 90,000 ocular exposures reported nationally in 2020 alone. Over the past five years, IPC has averaged just over 3,000 eye exposure cases per year. These exposures are usually accidental, often caused by an unintentional splash of liquid or gel, or sometimes resulting from … more
At the end of 2019, the staff at IPC had planned to focus on surveillance of pediatric cannabis exposures to see if Illinois would experience the same uptick in cases that other states have experienced after legalizing recreational cannabis. However, 2020 had other ideas of what the IPC and the rest of the country was … more
Not so long ago, if people felt ill during cold and flu season, many would opt for a “hot toddy” drink or an aspirin to help them sleep and heal. These days, many people reach for over-the-counter drugs (OTC) to try and “kill the ill.” Be careful, though: taking new medications can be risky if … more
You wake up one morning with nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. You realize it must be caused by the past-its-prime chicken you ate last night. More than likely, you have food poisoning. This extremely common illness is caused by eating contaminated food. It is estimated that one in six Americans will suffer from a case … more
If you’ve spent time with babies and youngsters, you know they tend to stick everything in their mouths—or even noses! This is part of how they explore and learn, but it’s nothing to sneeze at (pun intended). Certain items can be dangerous or toxic. Plus, kids might do the darnedest things, but adolescents and adults … more
Midwesterners wait all year for summer—and now it’s in full swing! Before you embrace what nature has to offer, check out our list of what’s harmless and what should only be admired from afar!
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
TV, radio, internet and social media messages on keeping areas clean, disinfecting surfaces and handwashing frequently to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus are unceasing. Sometimes it is easy to get confused on what to do and how far to push the envelope with cleaning. Over the past several weeks, the Illinois Poison Center … more
Who wants chocolate, candy, cookies and brownies? Most toddlers enjoy sweet treats, and consider them a sign of good times ahead. Yet, with the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis products in Illinois, as of Jan. 1, there is in increased risk of unintentional exposure for young children, especially with edible cannabis products that are commonly … more
Since December 2009, our 283 blog posts have garnered nearly 1.4 million page views from 224 countries. Pretty impressive! To commemorate the 10th anniversary of our blog, I’ve chosen my favorite blog post for each year.
Welcome to the third installment of our “Is it toxic?” plant blog series. Since there aren’t too many winter plants blooming outside in Illinois this time of year, we will be focusing on indoor holiday plants. While plant and berry ingestions are more commonly reported to the IPC in spring, summer and early fall, we … 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
It’s fast approaching, so don’t be fooled! No, we’re not talking about the Halloween ghost and ghouls, but rather that haunting flu, with the undesirable symptoms which include: headache, cough, muscle aches, foggy brain, and nausea. While experiencing these symptoms, it may seem like you have the flu. However, consider these other … more
The weather in Illinois is getting cooler (much to my personal delight), and while some of the familiar summer blooms are fading away, mother nature has a whole new act for autumn. Some of the more classic toxic plants are in their prime this time of year. Very Toxic: If someone has swallowed any … 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
After a long winter and a rainy spring, summertime in Illinois is great time of year. Picnics, BBQ, hiking, festivals and lots of outdoor fun with friends and family make the Prairie State the place to be. With all the activity however, sometimes small children will eat non-food products and chemicals as they explore new … more
Part two of a three-part blog series: beverage container mishaps! Thirsty? Think twice before taking a swig! You never know if someone has used that container for transporting and/or storing cleaning products, chemicals, human/animal waste or who knows what! You won’t believe the calls we get regarding unexpected and potentially toxic things that end up … more
The weather is getting warmer, the butterflies are out in full force and peeks of green are appearing in Illinois after a long, cold winter. One of the things spring brings to the IPC is an increase in exposures to plants. Usually, it’s a child who tasted a colorful flower or sampled a tasty-looking berry; … more
Many times we learn best from a juicy, fascinating human interest story. So…we thought we’d share a few cases with you, for prevention sake! This is part one of a three-part blog series re: things people put in their mouths (that create unexpected/unwanted results). Today, we’ll focus on…toothpaste errors. Oh, the interesting things we humans do when we … more
The holidays are just around the corner and growing up as a kid the best toys were always the ones requiring batteries. Batteries can be a significant hazard as they are found in every household and the caustic material inside of the battery can lead to burns. But not all batteries are created equally, and … more
In the first part of this two part series, we discussed what I would argue is the true star of Breaking Bad, methamphetamine (meth). In Part 2, I hope to show that while Walter White was supposedly an expert chemist, he was also well-versed in the field of Toxicology! Phosphine Gas In the pilot episode, … more
Slip on your cozy fleece; brew up some pumpkin flavored whatever and/or a bowl of hearty soup/stew and savor these resources and recommendations for the Fall season (if you dare!): First, some helpful info: Halloween: Scary for Kids, Even Scarier for Pets Halloween: Hocus Pocus vs. Potential Horrors Halloween Safety (pamphlet: English and Spanish) My … more
“Illinois Poison Center, How may I help you?” Nurses, pharmacists and physicians in our call center repeat this more than 200 times a day.IPC calls can vary from a mom with “I am not sure if this is an emergency, but . . .” to a nurse or physician with “I have a 23-year-old male … more