Break Point!

Volume 1, Issue 1 View the Archives March, 1998
Being Prepared in Case of Unintentional Poisoning
Lead Poisoning: What is it and Why Should I Be Concerned?
American Red Cross Month
Prevention Web Sites of the Month


Welcome to Break Point! This monthly newsletter is dedicated to the awareness and prevention of injury. Each month our focus will be on dates relating to special events that highlight injury prevention.
  • Red Cross Month
  • National Poison Prevention Week March 15-21

Break Point is produced by Loyola University, Burn and Shock Trauma Institute Injury Prevention Program. Please call us at (708) 327-2455 with any comments or questions.

Coming Next Month in Injury Prevention
  • National Youth Sports Safety Month
  • Sports Eye Safety Month

Being Prepared In Case Of Unintentional Poisoning

By Vicky Lansky
Accidental poisoning is unfortunately very common in young children. The most common causes in children six and under in their order are:
  1. Drugs (which includes aspirins, be it from a medicine chest or someone's purse)
  2. Plants
  3. Personal care products (such as shampoos)
  4. Household cleaners (such as dishwasher detergent)
Keep in mind that just because something tastes bad doesn't deter children. Three things that all parents should do to prepare themselves for such a situation is:
  1. Teach your children to say, "ahh", so that you can look into the mouth in case there is something that you can remove with your fingers
  2. Keep a bottle of syrup of ipecac in your medicine chest. This is an inexpensive liquid that can be purchased at your drug store. It's used to induce vomiting, but it should only be used on the recommendation of your poison control center
  3. Have posted, near all your phones, the number of your nearest poison control center. It's in your phone directory or you can get it by calling information.
  4. Most childhood accidental poisonings can be prevented, but only through the efforts of safety proofing and your vigilance. See below for the poison control number in your area. 1-(800) 947-5696

Lead Poisoning: What is it and Why Should I Be Concerned?

Lead poisoning is a serious health problem caused by swallowing or inhaling lead. Most people may be unaware when there is too much lead in their body. Headaches, vomiting and stomachaches are sometimes early warning signs. High levels of lead can cause growing children to have learning difficulties and lead to mental retardation.

There are a number of sources of lead in our homes. Many homes built before 1974 have lead -based paint. Lead pipes cause the water supply in the home to have higher than normal levels of lead. Lead based make-up such as Kohl, have high levels of lead. Foreign manufactured blinds and pottery have high lead counts in the paint.

Here are some simple things to do around your home to decrease lead levels to your family's exposure to lead:

  1. Keep your home clean and as dust free as possible, mop floors and wipe with a wet cloth around windowsills to prevent the inhalation of lead
  2. Cover up flaking or peeling paint especially on windowsills and doors
  3. Wash your hands often to avoid ingestion of lead
  4. When cooking use only cold water and let the water run from the tap for a few minutes especially if the faucet has not been used for a few hours
  5. Store food in glass, stainless steel or sturdy plastic containers. Do not store food in cans or pottery

American Red Cross Month

There for disasters and prepared before one starts.

When Floridians faced the tornadoes that left approximately 43 people dead and millions of dollars in clean up costs and Californians were dealing with mudslides and waterlogged roads, the Red Cross was there to help give immediate aid and comfort to those in need.

The American Red Cross isn't just for disaster relief. They have been long time promoters of community health and wellness. The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago (formerly Mid America Chapter) certifies over 7 million people in Red Cross health and safety classes each year. The list of Class offerings include: First Aid, Water Safety, Red Cross CPR, Sport Safety and Baby sitter's training. To obtain a complete list of classes and schedules call 1-800-33-safety.

The Greater Chicago Chapter includes Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. They serve over 7.5 million people with disaster relief and other social service assistance.

Write or call the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago at:
111 E. Wacker Drive
Chicago. IL 60611
(312) 729-6100
Visit their Web site at: Take a class today and maybe save a life tomorrow.

Prevention Web Sites of the Month

American Association of Poison Control Centers
Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Red Cross
Center for Disease Control
Central Texas Poison Center
Children's Safety Network
Emergency Medical Services for Children
Harborview Medical Center - Childhood Injuries
Illinois Poison Control Center
Maryland Poison Center
Poisoning Information Database
San Diego Regional Poison Control Center
Texas Poison Control Network at Galveston

The information on the Loyola University Health System (LUHS) Web site is for educational purposes only. It is presented in summary form in order to impart general information relating to certain diseases, ailments, physical conditions and their treatments. The information provided through the LUHS Web site should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease, nor is it a substitute for professional care. Should you have any health-care related questions or suspect you have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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