As spring officially arrives today, more people will be active outdoors, where hazardous materials will be present. Remember to contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for immediate assistance should contact occur with any of the hazardaous chemicals.
The following reminders were provided by Ivy Tominack, public education coordinator for Missouri Regional Poison Center in St. Louis, and Dr. Jim Barnes, director of pharmacy at Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston:
-- Always tell children, especially in spring and summer time, if they spill something on their skin when playing in the garage or storage shed to tell their parents immediately because a lot of liquids absorbed through the skin can cause damage, Barnes said.
-- If any substance is swallowed, don't induce vomiting without calling the center first, Tominack said.
"If it's a gas, such as citronella or lamp oil, and someone vomits, the gas can get into the lungs and create chemically induced pneumonia, which is very serious," Tominack said.
-- During holiday parties, where alcohol and cigarettes are consumed, parents should remember to empty containers and pick up cigarette butts, Tominack said.
Three cigarettes or one cigarette butt can cause seizures in a small child, and alcohol consumption by children kills brain cells and can lead to death.
"Kids want to be like adults. So if you do something, and you don't want your kids to do it then don't do it in front of them," Tominack said.
-- When engaged in gardening activity, such as diluting fertilizer, make sure the container is marked "fertilizer" and keep out of reach of children.
"We get a lot of calls about Roundup. People aren't reading how to use the product or they didn't know how to manipulate the equipment and spray it in their eyes," Tominack said.
-- Pool chemicals, which contain chlorine, can irritate the lungs. Always remember throughout the year:
-- Medicines and other harmful chemicals should be kept high, locked and out of reach and sight. However, 75 percent of all exposures occur when a product is in use.
-- Read labels carefully.
-- Don't transfer any type of food items into a container that used to have chemicals in it.
-- Don't refer to medicines or vitamins as candy. Overdosing on medicines and vitamins can be very dangerous.