Tips for Poison Prevention in the Home

poison preventionPoison is anything that can lead to illness or death if it is breathed in, swallowed, and splashed in the eyes or on the skin or injected. Poisons can be found almost everywhere, including in the home, where about 90% of all poisonings occur. Poisoning can affect people of all ages; however, children under the age of 6 are the most vulnerable. By taking just a few steps, poison prevention is possible. Here are a few tips how you can reduce the risk of poisoning in the home.

Home Safety Checklist

It is important to know that there are poison dangers in each room of the house. Whether it’s oven cleaner under the kitchen sink or medications in the bathroom cabinet, there are numerous products that can harm children (as well as adults) if accidentally eaten, inhaled, used incorrectly or even touched. With your checklist in hand, go through each room to ensure all products are safely stored and out of reach of children.

Tips for Poison Prevention

  • Store all over-the-counter medicines, prescription medications, vitamins and supplements in a locked cabinet and follow directions carefully on all medications and read the warning labels. Dispose of expired and/or unused medications.
  • Routinely clean out purses, coat pockets and computer bags to ensure there are no medications, cosmetics and small items for little hands to find.
  • Keep all cleaners, chemicals, oils and medicines in their original containers so you know what they are.
  • Store all chemicals, such as detergents, household cleaners, pesticides and automotive products in a securely locked cabinet and out of reach of children.
  • Keep perfumes, cosmetics and personal care products stored where children cannot reach or see them. The colorful items attract children’s attention and can be dangerous if swallowed.
  • Never store potentially poisonous products in the same place where food is kept. Children as well as seniors can easily mistake poisonous items for something they can eat.

Signs of Possible Poisoning

It is extremely important to know the signs and symptoms of possible poisoning. If you suspect someone has been poisoned, it is essential that you call the North Texas Poison Center at (800) 222-1222 immediately. Some of the signs may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Cramps
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Burning around the mouth
  • Foaming in the mouth
  • Unconsciousness

Keep in mind that poisons can be lurking in the places where you least expect it. For example, food poisoning can occur from eating undercooked or raw eggs, so it’s best to avoid sauces that may contain raw eggs. Poison prevention also includes being aware of your surroundings! It is important to teach children to never put leaves, seeds, mushrooms or berries from plants into their mouths. Learn to identify poisonous plants in your neighborhood and always wear gloves when handling potentially poisonous plants.

Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room waiting when you are sick.

Spring Break Health Tips

spring breakIt’s that time of the year when millions of high school and college students are planning a long-time tradition-spring break. Although it is a time for friends and fun, it is also a time that can quickly take a turn for the worse. If you are planning a spring break trip, one of the most important things to add to your “trip list” is spring break safety. Here are a few tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable spring break.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

If you are of legal drinking age and you are planning to include drinking alcohol as part of your spring break, it is extremely important to keep in mind that alcohol can impair your actions and your judgment. Every 31 minutes someone dies in an alcohol related motor vehicle crash and non-fatal injuries occur every two minutes as a result of motor alcohol related accidents, so don’t drink and drive. There are plenty of tasty non-alcoholic alternatives, so choose your beverages with safety in mind.

Protect Skin from the Sun

After a cold, snowy winter, it can be extremely tempting to stay out in the warm sun longer than what you should. Although getting some sun can be beneficial for you, excessive and unprotected sun exposure can lead to changes in your skin texture, premature aging and even skin cancer. Remember to always wear sunscreen and reapply after getting in the water. The ideal sunscreen is one with an SPF of 15. Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing wrap-around sunglasses that provide 100% UV ray protection.

Drink Water & Eat Healthy

It requires a lot of fuel and energy to have fun, so be sure to eat a variety of healthy foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables. It’s also recommended that you include lean meats, fish, poultry and low-fat dairy products in your diet. Be sure to drink plenty of water and try to limit the amount of salt, sugar and saturated fat you eat.

Stay Active

If you’re like most high school and college students, the winter months typically include a lot of sitting in class working on the computer and studying, so during your spring break take an opportunity to start a fitness program. While you’re away on break, participate in a variety of fun activities, such as dancing, playing volleyball, swimming and walking. Remember activity doesn’t have to been strenuous to be beneficial. Part of spring break safety is to avoid getting an injury so, start all new activities slowly and try to include activities that help to increase your breathing and heart rate as well as strengthen your muscles.

Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room waiting when you are sick.

Patient Safety Awareness

patient safety


Patient safety is the prevention of adverse effects and errors when it comes to the health care of patients. It is also about medical providers and facilities protecting their patients from mishaps while under their care. Unfortunately, mistakes can happen anywhere, including medical facilities so organizations like National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), United for Patient Safety, and Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) are dedicated to enhancing health care and promoting awareness for patient safety.

What is Safety Culture?

Safety culture is generally links to error rates in health organizations. Improving the culture of safety within health care organizations is a critical component for reducing or preventing errors as well as improving the overall quality of health care. There are specific measures that prove to improve safety culture, such a teamwork training, unit-based safety teams and executive walk rounds.

What is Patient Engagement?

Patient engagement is a term that describes a patient’s ability and willingness to manage their health and care with less formal intervention. It includes everything from patient portals to tracking vitals; patient engagement allows patients to participate in their own health and well-being because it provides the patient with a better understanding of their illness. They can keep track of things they can do to improve their health and it generally encourages a better outcome for the patient, while lowering medical costs.

What Do I Need to Know as a Patient?

  • Communicate with your health care team. If you see something or feel that something is wrong, discuss your concerns with your nurse and/or doctor. It is always best to ask questions this way you and your doctor has all the information about the situation.
  • If you or a loved one are a victim of medical error, say something. Speak with an employee of the medical facility so that they can investigate the issue and address it as soon as possible. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with a member of your immediate health care team, contact the customer service or patient advocacy department.
  • Educate and encourage your friends and family. Share your personal experiences, good and bad, with your community and urge them to do the same. This helps others know it’s okay and important to speak up to ensure quality health care and patient safety.
Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room waiting when you are sick.

Sources: Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, World Health Organization