Nebraska Regional Poison Center encourages summer safety
OMAHA, Neb. (PRESS RELEASE) - As schools let out for the summer and outdoor activities increase, so do calls to Poison Centers.
Exposure to plants, insects and chemicals can put a damper on the fun and cause lasting injuries. Prevention is the key to safety and a high priority for the Poison Center.
Bites and Stings: Remove bee stingers by scraping with an ID card, credit card, or flat tool. Pinching may cause more venom to be injected from the venom sack that is left behind with the stinger. Closely observe for allergic reactions, especially in the first hour after a sting. Ice is okay for most stings and bites, except snake bites. Wash with soap and water and call the Poison Center. If there is any difficulty swallowing or breathing, tightness in the throat or chest, or known anaphylactic reactions to past stings call 911.
Snake Bites – call the poison center before trying any home remedies. Do not try to suck out the venom as this is not effective and may increase the risk of infection. It is not necessary to catch the snake. All suspected venomous snakebite victims should be taken to the nearest Emergency Department.
Insect Repellents: Many insect repellents contain DEET (also known as N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide). Use DEET concentrations that are less than 30%. A higher concentration does not mean that the product will work better, only that it may be effective longer. Only use insect repellents that are intended for skin use. Avoid over-application. Use repellents outdoors only and wash skin with soap and water when coming inside. Follow all label directions.
Hydrocarbons: This category includes gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluids, and torch fuels. One of the main risks with ingestion is that the oil may “slip” into the lung causing chemical pneumonia. Store all these products in original containers and out of reach and sight of children.
Fireworks: Fireworks may contain several toxic chemicals and can be dangerous if swallowed. Always call the Poison Center for case-specific recommendations.
Food Poisoning: When firing up the grill or heading to a picnic, it is important to take some precautions. Remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. The USDA recommends fully cooking all meats to ensure bacteria are destroyed to prevent food poisoning. Meats should be cooked to 160 degrees. Always use a food thermometer. Do not leave food sitting out at room temperature or outside for more than 2 hours.
Swimming Pool Chlorine: Skin and eye contact with overly chlorinated pools may result in redness and a burning sensation. Rinse your skin and eyes immediately if you suspect exposure, contact the lifeguard/pool manager, and call the Poison Center. When maintaining pools, be aware that opening a container of chlorine pool tablets may release vapors that can cause coughing or chest tightness. Seek fresh air immediately and call the Poison Center.
The Nebraska Regional Poison Center is a free community service to the public. Call 1-800-222-1222 and talk immediately to a Registered Nurse 24/7/365
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