(RxWiki News) When the summertime heat is on, it's time to get outside, enjoy time with family and have fun. To keep your family safe this summer, check out these summer poison prevention tips.
According to the National Capital Poison Center (Poison Control), when there's a change in the usual routine, such as a road trip or other type of travel, poisonings increase. Because many families travel and engage in other activities that could present poison hazards during the summer, this season is the perfect time to take a few simple precautions.
Family gatherings, barbecues, cookouts — these are all staples of a great summer, and they all involve food. While food brings people together, it can also pose a few poison hazards. Here are some summer cooking and food safety tips:
- Keep alcohol out of children's reach rather than in an easily accessible cooler.
- Keep cold foods at a safe temperature by storing them in the shade and in a cooler.
- Avoid foods that can spoil if they have been left out for more than two hours (one hour if the temperature is higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Keep raw meats completely separate from other foods, and use separate utensils and dishes when handling them.
- Avoid wild mushrooms and other plants that can be toxic.
- Wash your hands before and after handling food and before eating.
Outdoor Poison Safety
Whether it's a wooded hike or a swim at a white sand beach, a day spent outside in the summer can be spoiled if poison hazards strike. Here are some outdoor poison safety precautions to take:
- Keep topical pain relievers (for sunburns and similar issues) away from children, as these substances can be poisonous if swallowed.
- Do not burn poison ivy in your campfire. The resulting smoke can cause blisters in your airways and nose.
- Call Poison Control (1-800-222-1222) immediately if you are bitten by a snake, and avoid using suction or tourniquet methods.
Other Safety Measures
These additional summer poison safety tips may be critical during the warmer months, but they're great to keep in mind year-round:
- Store all medicines in their original containers, and keep them out of reach of children. Also, make sure your medications are stored out of sight before summertime visitors arrive.
- Keep lighter fluid, tiki torch fluid and other flammable materials (which are dangerous and potentially poisonous) out of reach of children at all times.
- Stay away from places that have been sprayed with pesticides until the spray has dried for at least one hour.
- Carefully follow the instructions on the label of your insect repellent to avoid over-exposure.
If you have any questions about staying safe in the summer months, reach out to your health care provider.