Beware of warm-weather poison hazards

With summer in full swing, more people outside working in their lawn and gardens and kids being home more all add up for a risk of accidental poison exposure.  Always keep chemicals in their original containers, and don’t forget to always follow the label.

More then what a label recommends doesn’t make the product work better, it just makes it toxic!

“Of course, poison hazards lurk year-round, but some of these dangers are unique to the warmer days of summer,” said Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension housing and consumer specialist. “This is especially true for outdoor activities.”

Homeowners focused on shaping up their lawns and tending their gardens may rely on common lawn care products such as lime, fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides.

Some of these products can burn the skin or irritate the eyes, nose or mouth. In particular, some herbicides and pesticides also can be harmful if swallowed or inhaled.

“If you’re planning to use these products, take the time to read the label, follow the directions and store them properly when you’re finished using them,” Peek said. “Pay attention to the weather conditions, too. On windy days, it may be best to avoid applying certain products in order to reduce the chances of skin, eye, throat or lung irritation.”

During summer barbecues, charcoal lighter fluid should be stored up high and away and out of sight in order to be kept safely out of the reach of children, because if swallowed, it could easily get into their lungs. The same care should be taken with other types of lighter fluids and hydrocarbons such as gasoline and kerosene.

Finally, post the number for poison control near each phone in the house and store the number in your cell phone. In case of a poison-related emergency, call 800-222-1222 to speak with a poison specialist. The line is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

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