Life's Too Short... so make the most of it! Try something new, eat something healthy, grow something beautiful, hug someone you love, move around a lot, and be kind to yourself. Melanie Cole, MS brings you the best tips from lifestyle and fitness experts to the best and brightest medical professionals.

Back-to-School Poison Safety

From the Show: Life's Too Short
Summary: Prevent poisoning in your child with a little caution at school and in the home.
Air Date: 9/5/17
Duration: 14:10
Guest Bio: Krista Osterthaler, MPH
Krista OsterthalerKrista Osterthaler, MPH, is the Vice President for National Outreach, Communications, and Membership at the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), a nonprofit, national organization that represents the nation's 55 poison control centers and the interests of poisoning prevention, surveillance, and treatment. 

Krista began her career as a high school science teacher and joined poison control as a poisoning prevention educator in 2011. She has served as Chair of the National Poisoning Prevention Council and informal poison control awareness consultant for Safe Kids Worldwide. 

Krista is currently a spokesperson for the Over-the-Counter Medicine Safety curriculum.
Not everything at school is as safe as you’d like. Anything can be poisonous if used in the wrong amount, wrong way, or by the wrong person. It’s best to be aware of potential poisons in classrooms and in the home.

There is no such thing as “child proof.” While child-resistant locks are available, vigilance is best in preventing poisoning.

Poisons in School

The American Association of Poison Control Centers get about 29,000 calls about school-based exposures every year. Many of these are based on dares from peers or pranks on teachers. Drinking vape liquid, mace exposure, eating hand sanitizer, and consuming dissection specimens are more likely to happen at school than at home. Chewing on pens, swallowing foreign bodies, medicine dosage errors, and chemistry chemical exposures also occur at school.

Poison Control can advise when emergency care is necessary based on the substances used. They are not emergency services but serve as a great informational resource. You won’t be reprimanded for calling if your situation isn’t an emergency.

Poison Tips at Home

Read labels and follow all directions on your insect repellents. Beware inhalation and getting it in the eyes. Adults should apply insect repellent on children and avoid the kids’ hands. Store containers out of reach of children. Wash hands after playtime is over.

If the possible poisoned person is unconscious, not breathing, or appears to be having a seizure, call 911 immediately.

If the poisoned person is conscious, contact Poison Control to discuss the nature of the poisoning. Poison Control will advise based on the type of poisoning. They will also contact your local emergency services to alert them you’re bringing someone in or need an ambulance.

It’s best to be prepared for potential poisoning. Exercise caution to keep your loved ones safe.

Poison Help Line 1-800-222-1222 or text POISON to 797979 so you have it on your phone when you need it.

Listen as Krista Osterthaler joins Melanie Cole, MS, to share tips on poison safety.

Audio / Radio Segments