Serving Nebraska, Idaho, Wyoming, American Samoa and

Federated States of Micronesia

Tips for a Safe and Healthy Winter

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless dangerous gas. CO can mimic other illnesses such as the stomach flu or food poisoning. Early symptoms are headache and feeling sick to your stomach and/or vomiting. Other symptoms can also include drowsiness and dizziness. Always keep a CO detector in your home with working batteries.  CO production can occur from the following:

  • Gas-fueled water heaters
  • Heating a home with a gas stove
  • Improperly functioning gas furnace
  • Vehicle exhaust
  • Wood stoves
  • Generators

Antifreeze is available as radiator antifreeze (usually contains ethylene glycol) or windshield wiper solution ( usually contains methanol). The colors can be bright and attractive. Green is often the color of radiator antifreeze and blue is often the color of windshield wiper solution, but other colors can include pink and red. Antifreeze products are highly toxic substances. The colors and sweet taste may be attractive to young children. Keep antifreeze products out of the reach of children. Always keep antifreeze in its original container and stored in locked cabinets.

Ice Melting Compounds commonly contain sodium chloride or rock salt, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and/or urea, also known as carbonyl diamide. If swallowed in very small amounts, these pellets can be irritating and cause an upset stomach. These pellets may be tracked inside the house and curious little toddlers may try to swallow some. A taste is unlikely to be highly toxic, but always call the Poison Center for assistance.

The Nebraska Regional Poison Center offers tips on winter safety and poison prevention.

     When you call 1-800-222-1222, you will talk immediately to a Registered Nurse or Pharmacist 24/7/365.