Children act fast, but so do poisons

Most poisoning emergencies are unexpected and happen quickly in our homes. A majority of non-fatal poisonings involve children younger than six. And for adults, poisoning is the No. 1 cause of injury death in the United States. This week is National Poison Prevention Week, so it’s a good time to think about what you would do in a poisoning emergency.

Are young children most at risk for a poisoning accident?

In 2016, poisoning was the third leading cause of unintentional injury deaths among all Idahoans, with children younger than 6 being most at risk. It is extremely important for parents of small children to keep medications, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, cosmetics and other potentially poisonous items out of their reach. The Nebraska Regional Poison Center, which receives all of Idaho’s poison emergency calls, had more than 13,000 calls in 2016 from Idaho residents. And the majority of those calls were from parents of children ages 6 and younger.  Continue reading

Protect yourself from mumps: Make sure your vaccinations are up to date

An outbreak of mumps in Washington State is a good reminder that although mumps is not very common in the United States, outbreaks and individual cases are happening all over our nation. As of Feb. 25, more than 1,000 people have been infected this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That includes more than 360 cases in our neighboring state of Washington, and at least one case in northern Idaho. The Washington outbreak caused over 150 children to be excluded from school. Most of those children were unvaccinated and needed to be excluded for their own protection. Since immunization is your best protection against this contagious disease, it would be a good time to check vaccine records for yourself and your children to be sure you are up to date.

How would someone be exposed to it?

Mumps is caused by a virus. It spreads through saliva or mucus, so an infected person spreads it by:

  • Coughing, sneezing, or even just talking.
  • Sharing items you would put in your mouth like eating utensils and cups.
  • Touching things with unwashed hands that others might touch.

Continue reading

Your child broke a glow stick? Call the Idaho Poison Center

Most parents recognize the fact that fireworks and small children just don’t mix.  Glow sticks and glow jewelry are a safer alternative to bottle rockets and sparklers that can cause serious burns.  But these brightly colored glow products are soft and pliable and easily broken open, especially by children.

A child with a glowing mouth can cause some anxious moments for parents, but it’s typically not worth a trip to the emergency room. Even so, parents should call the Idaho Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 to be sure. Continue reading

Children act fast, and so do poisons. Would you know what to do in an emergency?

Most poisoning emergencies are unexpected and happen quickly in our homes. The majority of non-fatal poisonings involve children younger than 6. And for adults, poisoning is the No. 1 cause of injury death in the United States. This week is National Poison Prevention Week, so it’s a good time to think about what you would do in a poisoning emergency.

Are young children most at-risk for a poisoning accident?

In 2014, poisoning was the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths among all Idahoans, with children younger than 6 being most at-risk. It is extremely important for parents of small children to keep medications, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, cosmetics and other potentially poisonous items out of their reach. The Nebraska Regional Poison Center, which receives all of Idaho’s calls, had more than 15,000 calls in 2014 from Idaho residents. The majority of those were from parents of children ages 6 and younger. Continue reading