Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays for children, and the Poison Center would like to remind parents
and care givers to follow a few simple steps to help everyone have a safe and happy Halloween. For more great
poison prevention information visit www.nebraskapoison.com and watch our video “Do you know what a
Poison is” with Pinky our Poison Prevention Elephant. Here are a few tips and tricks!
1. Glow sticks can cause a stinging and a burning feeling if the liquid touches the mouth, skin or eyes. Tell
children to keep these out of their mouths as they are soft and can easily break open. If this happens, rinse
with water and call the Poison Center.
2. When children trick-or-treat, treats should be carefully checked by adults. Homemade treats or anything
out of its original wrapper should be thrown away unless parents are positive of the identity and safety of
the person from which it came.
3. Cannabis edibles may resemble candy in their name, colors and packaging. This is another good reason
to check all your children’s candy when they get home.
4. Costumes should be warm, well-fitting and non-flammable. Masks should allow a child to see easily all
around them and should be removed while children are crossing streets. Have a trusted adult with children
and remember to take a flashlight along if it is dark.
5. Consider nontoxic face paint instead of masks. All makeup and fluorescent hair sprays should be
removed before going to bed. Consider using reflective tape on costumes worn after dark.
6. Serving punch containing dry ice is not dangerous if the ice is not swallowed in its solid form. Small
pieces should not be put in drinking glasses. Frostbite can occur if dry ice touches the skin or mouth.
7. Chocolate and xylitol are very poisonous to dogs. Xylitol is the sweetener found in sugar free candies and
gum. Store all candy up and out of reach of dogs and other pets.
The Nebraska Regional Poison Center is a free and confidential service to the public.
Call 1-800-222-1222 to immediately talk with a Registered Nurse 24/7/365.

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Since 2008 the month of September has been declared National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide has been influencing people’s lives for centuries, and still the rate of suicide continues to climb. According to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, “For every 1 person who dies by suicide annually, 316 seriously consider suicide, but do not kill themselves.” The Poison Center continues to see an increase in calls related to ingestions with the intent of self-harm.

In the U.S, we are beginning to destigmatize mental illnesses and offer resources for people in crisis. We also have community support organizations for those who have had their lives touched by a completed suicide.

Save these numbers into your phone, give them to your loved ones and post them for others to see. We need everyone to spread the word that there is help available for everyone. You are not alone.

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline – Phone, text (English only), and chat support available 24/7 or www.988lifeline.org

For Veterans (Veterans Crisis Line) – 988 (press 1) or text 838255

Línea de Prevención del Suicidio y Crisis 1-888-628-9454

Deaf + Hard of Hearing – For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988

Crisis Text Line – Text support available 24/7 Text TALK to 741-741

Trevor Lifeline – Phone, chat, and text support for LGBTQ youth 1-866-488-7386 (available 24/7) Text START to 678-678 (available M-F 3-10pm Eastern/ 12-7pm Pacific)

Trans Lifeline – Phone support for transgender people, by transgender people available 10am-4am Eastern
1-877-565-8860

SAGE LGBTQ+ Elder Hotline – Peer support and resources for older LGBTQ adults available 24/7
877-360-LGBT (5428)

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – go to www.afsp.org for more resources

If you or someone you know has ingested too much medication, the wrong medication, or need poison help, call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 to speak to one of our nurse experts immediately.

 

Summertime Poison Prevention

As the weather and seasons change so do the types of calls to the Nebraska Regional Poison Center.  During the summer months, poison centers manage more calls about bites, stings, plants and pesticides than other times of the year.

Bites and Stings: Warm weather, brightly colored clothing and backyard picnics often attract flying insects such as bees and wasps. Remove the stinger with a gentle scraping motion using a credit card or fingernail.  Do not squeeze or pull the stinger, or you’ll release more venom. Clean with soap and water. Apply ice compresses for 15-20 minutes at a time In addition, watch for indications of a sudden allergic reaction such as itching, wheezing, faintness, sweating, confusion or developing a rash.  Contact a physician or visit the nearest emergency department at the first sign of these symptoms, which could become life threatening.  Delayed reactions may occur 10-14 days after a sting.  Call your physician if the person stung experiences fever, discomfort, hives, headache, or itching.  For snake bites from a poisonous species such as rattlesnakes, the most important thing you can do is call 9-1-1.

 

Insect Repellents: Only use insect repellents that are meant to be used on the skin. Avoid over-application.  The long word for DEET is N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide. Most labels will have the long chemical word listed. Use concentrations less than 20% DEET.  A higher concentration does not mean that the product will work better, rather it means that it will be effective for a longer period of time. Use repellents only when outdoors and wash skin with soap and water when coming in. Picaridin is an odorless synthetic ingredient found in some bug repellents and is a safe alternative to use on children. Follow all label directions.

 

Hydrocarbons: This category can include gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluids and torch fuels. The hydrocarbon group is slick and oily. One of the main risks with ingestion is that it may “slip” into the lung causing a chemical pneumonia. Store all of these products in the original container and well out of reach of little hands.

 

Plant and Mushroom Poisonings: The initial hazard is choking.  Remove any piece from the mouth, but don’t induce vomiting. Teach children never to put any part of a plant, including berries, in their mouths. A tip for indoor plants is to write down the name of each plant you have on a clean stick and put it in the soil.  If an ingestion should occur you will know the name of the plant. This is especially helpful if someone else is caring for the child and an ingestion occurs. Mushrooms may look very interesting and enticing to young children. There are several varieties.  Often the typical yard mushroom is a stomach irritant.

 

 

 

The Nebraska Regional Poison Center is a free community service to the public. When you call 1-800-222-1222, you will speak immediately to a Registered Nurse or Pharmacist 24/7/365.

The holiday season is a time for celebration and joy with our friends and families. Research shows that the number of poisoning incidents involving children rises during the holiday season. The Nebraska Regional Poison offers tips for holiday safety and poison prevention.

MEDICATIONS -If you have visitors remember that they may bring their medications. Make sure they store their medications out of sight and out of reach of children and animals.

CLEANING PRODUCTS -Avoid storing disinfectants and cleaners on the counter. Storage on the counter may be convenient, but it provides an opportunity for a child to reach and swallow or spray them on the skin or in the eyes. If stored in a cabinet make sure it has a childproof lock.

ALCOHOL -Alcohol is found in holiday drinks, hand sanitizers, and even in perfume and cologne. Remove items containing alcohol from sight and reach.

NICOTINE -Nicotine containing products such as cigarettes, vape liquid, and chewing tobacco are harmful if ingested. Many now are in containers that look or smell like nonharmful items that children use every day. These products may cause shakiness, vomiting or seizures.

FOOD -When using frozen meats and other items to cook, be sure to thaw them in the refrigerator. Remember, larger items such as turkeys may take several days to thaw. Do not thaw on countertops as this may increase the risk of food poisoning.

FOOD STORAGE -When the meal is complete, be sure to put food away in the refrigerator or freezer. Many food items should not be a room temp for more than 2 hours. At room temperature bacteria grows very quickly and may cause illness.

PLANTS-Keep small children and animals away from seasonal plants such as mistletoe, holly berries, yew plants and poinsettias. Poinsettias are not the fatal poison that they were once believed to be, but in large amounts they can cause upset stomach.

 

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

Opioid medications are prescribed to treat pain from real and often debilitating conditions. When opioids are used incorrectly or by someone they are not intended for it can have potential deadly effects. The National Center for Drug Abuse and Statistics states that opioids are a factor in 7 out of every 10 overdose deaths. Deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl increased 10% in the past year.  According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Nebraska’s drug overdose death rate has doubled in the last 15 years.

 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cautions “the only safe medications are ones prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Any pills that do not meet this standard are unsafe and potentially deadly.” The Poison Center partners with local organizations to help promote awareness and provide education as well as to answer questions at any time. The Poison Center nurses can answer questions about medications, overdoses, errors in dosing, as well as assist in drug identification and disposal. Call us at 1-800-222-1222.

 

There is an antidote for opioid overdose, and all 50 states have made naloxone available to anyone who is concerned about their own use of an opioid or for any other person who is using an opioid for any reason. Did you know you can go to any participating pharmacy in Nebraska and ask the pharmacist for naloxone? Any Nebraska resident can access this after completing a short assessment to ensure eligibility at participating pharmacies. If you go to a pharmacy that is not participating, you will need to discuss billing with the pharmacist.

 

If you or someone you know has been using opioids and you note any of the symptoms below, please call 9-1-1:

  • Unresponsive or unconscious individuals
  • Not breathing or slow/shallow breaths
  • Extreme sleepiness with difficulty staying awake, seizures

 

In Nebraska you can call 2-1-1 to access free counseling, treatment programs and other information. Please see the additional resources below.

 

  • Opioid and Opiate Addiction Hotline: 24/7 at 888-625-6416
  • Coalition Rx: coalitionrx.org or call 402-871-5622
  • US Drug Enforcement Administration: One Pill Can Kill (dea.gov)
  • Nebraska Family helpline: 24/7 at 888-866-8660
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (oprime dos para Español) or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 para Español
  • Nebraska MEDS Coalition For Drug Disposal website:  https://www.nebraskameds.org

Currently Active: Current and future pharmacies offering naloxone at no charge are listed at the website below. More participating pharmacies are being added to the list everyday so be sure to check here before going to a pharmacy.

 

www.stopodne.com

 

 

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The Nebraska Regional Poison Center offers some Do’s and Don’ts to guide your holiday planning. Don’t let food poisoning ruin your Thanksgiving celebration. Do keep this guide handy to use as a reference.

DO…
• DO ask all kitchen helpers to wash their hands using warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food.
• DO keep turkey in its original wrapping, refrigerated until ready to cook.
• DO defrost a frozen turkey by refrigeration or cold running water.
• DO allow one day for every 4-5 pounds to defrost in the refrigerator. In a cold-water bath, change the water every 30 minutes. A 24-pound turkey may take up to 6 days to thaw so plan accordingly.
• DO use a meat thermometer to check if turkey is done. The turkey should cook until the internal temperature reaches a safe minimum of 165˚ F.
• DO store the turkey and stuffing separately.
• DO store leftover turkey in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days.
• DO store leftover stuffing and gravy in the refrigerator and use within 1-2 days.
• DO go to the Butterball website at www.butterball.com , call 1-800-BUTTERBALL or text 844-877-3456 to chat with one of their turkey experts for other tips and tricks. You can even ask “Alexa” to “Ask Butterball” a question on Alexa enabled devices.

DON’T…
• DON’T defrost a turkey at room temperature. Bacteria can multiply to unsafe numbers on outer layers before inner layers have defrosted. These bacteria can cause illness in you or your guests.
• DON’T leave an uncooked thawed turkey out of the refrigerator longer than two hours.
• DON’T set your oven lower than 325˚ F.
• DON’T prepare food if you are sick or have a nose or eye infection.
• DON’T leave leftovers out on the counter longer than two hours.
• DON’T re-freeze a completely thawed uncooked turkey.
• DON’T stuff turkeys as it makes it difficult for the internal temperature to reach 165°F within a safe period of time. If you must stuff your turkey, stuff it lightly before cooking and leave room for the oven to cook the interior of the turkey and stuffing.

The Nebraska Regional Poison Center is a free community service to the public.
Call 1-800-222-1222 to speak directly with a Registered Nurse 24/7/365.

 

 

Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays for children, and the staff at the Poison Center would like to remind parents and care givers to take some simple precautions to make sure that everyone has a safe and happy Halloween. Here are a few tips to know about these tricks!
• Glow sticks can cause a stinging and a burning sensation if the liquid comes into contact with the mouth or eyes. Be careful when children put these in their mouths as they are soft to chew on and can easily break open. If this happens, rinse with water and call the Poison Center.
• When children trick-or-treat, treats should be carefully checked by adults. Homemade treats or anything out of its original wrapper should be thrown away unless parents are positive of the identity of the person from which it came.
• Marijuana edibles can be found in many shapes and sizes and they resemble traditional candies in their names and packaging. This is another good reason to check all your children’s candy when they get home.
• Costumes should be warm, well-fitting and non-flammable. Masks should allow adequate vision and should be removed while children are crossing streets. Make sure children are accompanied by an adult and take a flashlight along if it is dark.
• Use nontoxic face paint as an alternative to masks. All makeup and fluorescent hair sprays should be removed before going to bed. Consider using reflective tape on costumes worn after dark.
• Serving punch containing dry ice is not considered dangerous if the ice is not swallowed in its solid form. Small pieces should not be put in individual glasses. Frostbite can occur if dry ice touches the skin or mouth.
• Chocolate and xylitol are very poisonous to dogs. Xylitol is the sweetener found in sugar free candies and gum. Store all candy up and out of reach of dogs and other pets.
The Nebraska Regional Poison Center is a free and confidential service to the public.
Call 1-800-222-1222 to immediately talk with a Registered Nurse or Pharmacist 24/7/365.

The highest percentage of carbon monoxide exposures occur during the winter months. However, carbon monoxide exposures can happen any time of year, especially during natural disasters and power outages. It is imperative that the citizens understand the dangers, the symptoms and how to prevent poisoning from carbon monoxide.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include sleepiness, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, vomiting, shortness of breath and convulsions. The first step in treating carbon monoxide poisoning is getting the victim to fresh air. Then seek medical attention immediately.

Carbon monoxide is a gas produced when fuels burn incompletely. It has no color, taste or smell. The major causes of carbon monoxide poisoning in the summer may include:

• Gas powered generators indoors
• Lack of ventilation in a car
• Using a charcoal grill indoors
• Using propane cooking equipment in enclosed areas (i.e. tents or campers)
• Boat exhaust fumes and onboard generators
• Malfunctioning appliances with pilot lights (i.e. water heater or gas stoves)

The Poison Center offers the following suggestions to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
• Inspect all fuel-burning equipment yearly.
• Vent fuel-burning heaters to the outside.
• Do not use a gas-powered equipment indoors without proper ventilation.
• Never use a charcoal grill or hibachi inside.
• Install carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home.
• Never leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open.
• Have the vehicle muffler and tailpipes checked regularly.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning resemble those associated with other health conditions that are common among the elderly, especially in the winter. The carbon monoxide death rate is highest among people greater than 65 years of age.

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning or if you have any questions, contact the Nebraska Regional Poison Center toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.

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