Poison control as students head back to school: What to watch for

The Upstate New York Poison Control Center takes thousands of calls over the course of each school year for poisoning cases in school-aged children.

Posted: Sep 6, 2019 8:55 AM

The Upstate New York Poison Control Center takes thousands of calls over the course of each school year for poisoning cases in school-aged children. Public Education Coordinator Lee Livermore joined us live in studio Friday morning to talk about items that should not end up in your students backpack.

Top 5 poisonings during the 2018-2019 school year:

1. Over-the-counter pain medicine (i.e. – acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen)

2. Antidepressants

3. Antihistamines

4. Cosmetics/personal care products (i.e. – makeup, hand sanitizers, perfume)

5. Stimulants & street drugs

Things to watch out for at school & at home:

MEDICINES AT HOME & AT SCHOOL: Child-resistant does not mean childproof. Keep all medicines up & away from children. Carefully read and follow directions and warnings on all labels before taking or giving medicine. Schools have medication policies so be sure to find out what it is and discuss it with children. Teach children to never take medicine meant for someone else, it could be a deadly mistake.

HAND SANITIZERS: A lick of hand sanitizer is not fatal, but drinking it could cause alcohol poisoning. Hand sanitizers should not be included in a young child’s backpack. If using in the classroom or at home, teach children less than a dime-sized amount of sanitizer is adequate to clean hands. Hands should be rubbed together until dry. In the 2018-2019 school year, we received 79 calls for hand sanitizer poisonings.

BOXED LUNCH: It is most important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold to prevent food poisoning. Pack appropriate lunch items that will not spoil in a lunch box. Washing fruits and vegetables beforehand helps remove dirt, bacteria and pesticides. Encourage children to wash their hands every time before eating.

PLAYGROUNDS: Playgrounds can be a breeding ground for poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms. It is hard to tell the difference. Teach children to never pick a mushroom. If you do, wash their hands and call us.

Each year, the Upstate New York Poison Center manages more than 80,000 calls from health care providers, 911 operators, hospitals, industry, schools and general public in a 54-county service area.

In the case of a poisoning or for information purposes, you can always call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Another issue we touched on - what's becoming epidemic - teen vaping.

80 percent of teens say they don't see the risk of harm from e-cigarette use.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2109677

Reported Deaths: 53558
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