Living in Florida is AWESOME! Florida residents and visitors are able to enjoy our beautiful beaches, nature trails, state parks, and neighborhoods all throughout the year. While this is great for health and mental wellness, there are some risks in our great outdoors. Poison control centers in Florida receive calls year-round about some of our “natural habitat” residents that may include the following:
- Some native species tend to be more active in the spring
- Most species of snakes in Florida are nonvenomous, but any snake can bite
- There are six venomous snakes native to Florida. They are: Eastern Coral Snake, Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Pygmy Rattlesnake, Timber Rattlesnake, Copperhead
- If bit, immediately seek emergency care at the nearest hospital
- Poisonous and irritant plants can be problematic for small children who are naturally curious and may take a nibble
- Pets may also chew random plants and risk a serious poisoning
- Common poisonous plants (via ingested or inhaled/smoked) include: Oleander, Common Lantana, Chinaberry, American Holly, Angel’s Trumpet, Wild Mushrooms
- Common irritant plants (via touch/topical) include: Poison Ivy, Common Crotons, Brazilian Pepper
- Learn the names of your house and yard plants and learn if they are toxic
- Contact the Poison Center if first aid is needed
🕷️ INSECTS & SPIDERS
- Common venomous insects and spiders found in Florida include: Black Widow spider, Brown Recluse spider, and several species of spiny caterpillars
🎐 AQUATIC TOXINS
- Common Invertebrates with stinging cells include Jellyfish, Man-of-War, Anemones, Coral
- Common Vertebrates with venom-coated spines include: Stingrays, Urchins, Catfish, Lionfish, Scorpionfish, Stonefish
- Often, these poisonous stings can be treated immediately on site. Contact the Poison Center for additional assistance.
Florida’s three Poison Control Centers provide an invaluable service to the citizens of Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands by offering poison prevention support, education, and information management through a nationwide, toll-free 1-800-222-1222 hotline. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, calls are answered by specially trained doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical providers who can assess and assist callers with poison emergencies.
More Health in the Classroom
With the support of the Florida Poison Information Center, local students have been learning about poison prevention for over 30 years. MORE HEALTH’s poison prevention lessons teach Kindergarten and Second graders how to prevent accidental poisonings in their homes and their outside environment. We are thankful for the Florida Information Center’s long-term support and look forward to continuing this partnership as we promote poison prevention education.