Most poisonings are accidental and occur in children under five years of age. Throughout the school year, MORE HEALTH provides students vital information about poison identification, poison proofing the home, and response to poison emergencies through poison prevention lessons in our Tampa Bay communities.

During the summer months, however, kids head from the classroom to the great outdoors. During this time of year, it is imperative that families are at heightened awareness for exposure to poisons. Sharing meals outdoors, playing in the backyard, exploring new environments, and hiking into unknown territory may present opportunities for children to come into contact with toxins.

Poison Control offers the following tips to ensure a safe summer with your loved ones:

  • Be sure your picnic and cookout food is safe to eat. Wash your hands before handling food. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold; refrigerate left-overs within two hours, or an hour if it’s hot outside. Separate raw meats from other foods. Use a clean platter for food you take off the grill.
  • When using lighter fluid for the grill, be sure that it is stored out of reach of children.
  • If illuminating the area with tiki torches or other lights utilizing lamp oil, be sure the oil is stored out of reach of children.
  • Alcoholic beverages should be stored in an area where children cannot access them.
  • Insect repellent is important in keeping ticks and mosquitoes off skin, but more is not necessarily better. Follow label instructions carefully: apply to skin or clothing as directed, re-apply only as often as the label states, and wash the repellant off when coming indoors.
  • Be able to recognize and avoid poison ivy.

Remember to seek Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 and place this number on or near every telephone, and store it in your mobile telephone.