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Prevention

Statement of Support for Governor Inslee’s Executive Order & Opioid Response Plan

Washington’s Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order today that brings together state agencies, local public health organizations, law enforcement, tribal governments, and other partners to act on opioids. The executive order identifies key aspects of the state’s current opioid response plan that can be implemented immediately as part of a strategic statewide effort to prevent opioid use disorder and overdose
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spring flowers

Lawn & Garden Care- Seasonal Health Alert

An early happy spring from the Washington Poison Center, and a reminder that many of your lawn and gardening aids contain potentially toxic chemicals, including: Insect killer: organic phosphorus compounds (malathion) Some insect killers contain organic phosphorus compounds. If accidentally ingested or absorbed through the skin, these can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, and can slow t
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Holiday Hazards- Seasonal Health Alert

Happy Holidays from the Washington Poison Center! While this certainly is a wonderful time of the year, it is important to be aware of potentially hazardous exposures this holiday season. Button batteries: These small cylindrical batteries are often found in portable electronics, watches, and hearing aids. They can be removed from these products by small children and ingested. If they become lodged within the esophag
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Keep the Joy in Your Holiday

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us are either getting ready to travel or preparing for guests. To spend this time with family and friends and avoid a frantic trip to the emergency room, please take a few moments to think about safety. If you are traveling with young children or pets, look around for dangers. The family or friend you are visiting may not normally need to worry about a curious mind
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Potential source of CO

Carbon Monoxide- Seasonal Health Alert

The Washington Poison Center (WAPC) received 308 calls in 2013 on carbon monoxide poisonings; 121 of those cases were managed in a healthcare facility. With winter right around the corner and people starting to crank up their heaters, the WAPC has some information to share. What is carbon monoxide? • Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by incomplete combustion of different fuel sources (oil, ga
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Washington Poison Center Warns Parents About Halloween and Marijuana Edibles

With Halloween right around the corner, the Washington Poison Center is warning parents to be on the look-out for marijuana-edibles that may be mistaken for Halloween candy. A variety of candy-style products exist in the medical marijuana market. Marijuana-edibles can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types that often resemble traditional candies and sweets in their product name and/or appearance, such as b
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Laundry Packet Hazards. Are your children safe?

Poison centers receive many calls each year about children getting into laundry detergents. Swallowing these products often causes mild stomach upset, if there are any symptoms at all. The new highly concentrated single-load liquid laundry detergent packets seem to be different. Single-load liquid laundry packets have become widely available over the past couple of years. Busy parents have found these packets to be a
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Mr. Yuk Goes to College

Don’t forget to send Mr. Yuk off to college with your student as they pack that favorite pillow, the mini-fridge and other essentials!  Why, you may ask, would a college student need Mr. Yuk?  Poisonings can happen to anyone at any age, here are a few possibilities your student may face: Food poisoning; even leftover pizza without meat needs to be refrigerated! Medication errors or interactions, as well as intentiona
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Mr. Yuk Goes to School!

As your child goes through life, Mr. Yuk should always be included, whether just learning to walk and talk, going to pre-school, or starting K-12!  When you fill those backpacks with colored markers, scissors, plastic rulers and spiral bound notebooks make sure you include Mr. Yuk too!  Add a free pencil with our 800-222-1222 number on it to your child’s school supplies. Encourage your child’s teacher or school nurse
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More babies are born in August than any other month!

More babies are born in August than any other month. So, if you are expecting, or have an new baby in the family, now is the perfect time to think about taking steps to make your home poison safe. Babies explore the world by putting things in their mouth and they learn new skills every day.  At 2 months old baby can bring his hands to his mouth. By 4 months she uses her hands and eyes together—she sees a toy, or a br
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Because sometimes you just have a question!

Not all calls to the poison center are made after there has been a poisoning. Almost 16% of the calls we receive from homes are for information, before something happens. The top 15 reasons parents call. To get a dose for a medication, “How much ibuprofen do I give my 3 mo. old?”              General poison toxicity, “How can baby powder be poisonous for my baby?”   Other general medication in
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Teaching Kids the Basics

Kids always seem to be into stuff they aren’t supposed to be. Maybe that’s why so many parents have poison control on speed dial! I believe, it is never too early to teach your kids “Mr. Yuk means no!” Teaching your kids about poison and putting Mr. Yuk stickers on potentially harmful products tells a child not touch, taste or smell it—that it could hurt them, and to get an adult for help. If they see another child p
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Ask Mr. Yuk- Poison Q & A

Each year, two million poisoning exposures are reported to poison control centers across the United States.  If we break down that big number, one person will be poisoned in the time it takes you to gargle and spit- don’t swallow or you’ll have to call me! “What is a poison?” Glad you asked- a poison is any chemical or substance that can make you sick or harm you.  Children, older people and those developmentally del
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Happy Birthday United States!

Happy 237th Birthday United States! Wow, have we grown!  In 1776 there were 2.5 million people in the US, today there are over 316 million. That means a lot more 4th of July celebrations, which means a lot more poisoning opportunities from picnics, glow sticks, boating, and fireworks. Most people are aware of fire and physical injury dangers associated with fireworks but I want to remind you that fireworks can poison
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Pesticides: Handle with Care

Summer is here!  It’s the time of year when you get the urge fight pests, but first, make sure you are using the right product on the right pest! Pesticides are products that kill pests! They are commonly used in and around the home and in public places.  When used properly, pesticides can help eliminate the problem pest, however, they can be harmful when used the wrong way. Be sure to read the label, even if it is a
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There are no balloons in Up and Away

“Up and Away” means keeping your medications up and away, and out of sight, from children.  My friends in the call room tell me that often the reason a parent is calling is because they got distracted and left a medicine they were using down and in reach of a child. Here’s the scenario: Johnny and Jenny both have been running a fever for a few days.  Everyone in the house is sleep deprived and going to bed early. It’
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“Share Your Place”

June is National Safety Month, a time to educate everyone about the leading causes of preventable injuries.  As a poison center, we are especially interested in anything that will prevent a poisoning as this is the leading cause of unintentional accidental deaths in Washington State. One of the programs  we recognize and encourage is Up and Away and Out of Sight, which provides tools to remind everyone of the importa
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Father’s Day

Sunday, June 16th, is Father’s Day.  Bet you didn’t think a big green guy would know anything about the one day each year when dads all over the country are bombarded with handmade art, edible goodies, gadgets, trinkets and lots of hugs and kisses!  My friends in the call room have kept me up to date on all the latest munchkin misadventures and I know that some of the most popular gifts are potential problems.  They
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Mr. Yuk on Speed Dial

You might have 800-222-1222 memorized or saved in your phone’s speed dial.  But, did you know hospitals across Washington State have the poison center on speed dial as well? And they are not the only ones. Fire departments, 911 dispatch centers, police officers and paramedics are just a few of the health care professionals who keep Mr. Yuk busy.  Many of these providers have the Washington Poison Center on speed dial
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School's out for the summer

Test Your Summer Poison IQ

Just when you thought school was out for the summer!  Well, school may be out, but it is never too late for a quick quiz. Grab a pencil and paper and see how well you do. Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long for the answers- they are just a click away. Good luck!!   1) You find your toddler sucking on the end of a tube of pain-relieving cream for the sunburn you got yesterday; what should you do? A. Nothing,
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bug looking

Summer’s Unwanted Guests!

I think summer is finally here! The trees are showing off their leaves, flowers are blooming, and the bugs are enjoying themselves. They are the unwanted guests- showing up at picnics and the beach, camping trips and hikes, or even if you’re just hanging out at home. For many of us, a bite or sting will only have a mild reaction, however there are those whose reaction will be far more severe and require emergency tre
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Sick child

You Ate What?!

Calls concerning food poisoning are in the top ten received at the Washington Poison Center.  In fact, last year my friends in the call center got almost 1900 calls about food-related concerns. That is over 5 calls a day!  Think about how many people did not call the poison center! Did you call when you got sick after visiting your relatives? The most common form of food poisoning is bacterial.  Symptoms consistent w
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Car Exhaust

Carbon Monoxide, the Unexpected Summer Time Hazard

Carbon Monoxide is not just deadly in the winter; its dangers can plague us in summer as well. It’s an invisible poison that cannot be smelled or tasted. It attacks children and adults, rich and poor, animals and humans. So what can it do? — It can mimic food poisoning — It can cause long-term brain damage — It can cause kidney and liver failure — It can cause a miscarriage — It can kill
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woman_taking_med

Why Medication Management?

Scenario 1:   You are enjoying a day out with your family.  You just realize you forgot to take your medicine before leaving.  Can you wait until the next scheduled dose?  Will you start feeling sick? Scenario 2:   You take your medicine.  Then you remember you already took it ten minutes ago.  Who can you ask if you need to be worried?   Will you become light-headed and be at a higher risk for falling? Scenario 3:  
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plants

Toddlers Taste-Testing the World (Not everything green is good for you!)

Don’t you just love spring?  Trees and bushes showing off their leaves and colors!  It’s the time of year to peel off one or two of those winter layers and spend time outside.  But, watch those toddlers! “What are you eating?” “What’s that in your mouth?”  Questions most toddlers hear at least once a day and the answer is either “nothing…” or an open mouth with un-identifiable contents! When this happens and you susp
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Counting

Let me count the times…I should have called the Poison Center…just today

What, you’ve think you’ve never had a reason to call the Poison Center? I don’t think so!  Exposures to poisons happen all the time; they are a part of everyday living. You just didn’t know to call the Poison Center. If you are lucky, you can get away with this, but there are times when you really need to call. Can you spot the exposures to poisons my friends at the Poison Center worry about? 6 am- Alarm goes off, yo
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Snow Days!

Snow days are fun and beautiful and potentially dangerous! We want you and your neighbors to be safe during this snowstorm. Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, deadly gas.  Someone with CO poisoning may think they are just getting the flu, since symptoms can be a headache, nausea and vomiting, weakness, fatigue, and confusion.  If several people in the household become ill at the same time,
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Poison Nation Blogs

Welcome to the Washington Poison Center blog.  The staff (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other poison specialists) answering the phones in our Call Center refer to themselves as the Poison Nation. Poison Nation, including Mr. Yuk, will all contribute to this blog, providing you with a variety of points of view, new knowledge and some entertainment.  We may include alerts about a substance, or a trend we might be s
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