JACKSONVILLE — As we swing into summer, Florida’s Poison Control Centers - Jacksonville is providing some helpful tips to keep your family safe.
“From snake bites and jellyfish stings, to pool chemical accidents and foodborne illnesses, poisonings increase during the summer,” said Dr. Dawn Sollee, Center Director. “The kids are home from school, families are traveling and more people are outdoors - this leads to more exposures. We want Floridians to know we are here for them, 24 hours a day, at 1-800-222-1222 to provide free help with any poisoning, bite, or sting.”
Florida’s Poison Control Centers – Jacksonville is sharing these important summer safety tips:
Pool Chemical Safety:
• Ensure you are in a well-ventilated area when using pool chemicals.
• Follow the product instructions carefully.
• Do not store chemicals where flammable items may mix with them (i.e. pool chemicals and fertilizer).
• Never mix pool chemicals because it could create a toxic gas.
• Always keep pool chemicals stored up and away from children.
• Call the poison control center (or 911, if unarousable, convulsing, or stopped breathing) if someone has been bitten by a venomous snake, such as the pygmy rattlesnake, cottonmouth (water moccasin), eastern diamondback rattlesnake, canebrake (timber) rattlesnake, copperhead, or coral snake.
• If bitten by a snake, remove jewelry and tight clothes, immobilize the extremity if possible, keep affected area at or below the heart, and wash the area gently.
• DO NOT feed the victim, place ice on the bitten area, or apply a tourniquet.
Insect Repellent Usage:
• Read and follow product instructions carefully; some products are not meant to be applied to the skin.
• Do not apply onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, or cut/irritated skin; spray repellent onto adult’s hands then apply to child’s face.
• Do not use combination sunscreen/insect repellent products. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, but repellent should not be reapplied.
• DEET should not be used on children younger than two months old.
• After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
Additional Outdoor Hazards:
• At the beach, bring a spray bottle of vinegar in case of jellyfish stings. If you’re stung, call the poison control center for specific treatment advice.
• If bitten by a spider, call the poison control center immediately.
• For common insect stings, including fire ants, bees, wasps, and caterpillars, initially apply a baking soda paste. Then call the poison control center for more specific treatment advice.
• Treat all wild mushrooms as poisonous unless you are absolutely certain they are safe to eat.