Child poisoning cases rise in summertime

June 9, 2010 12:27:13 PM PDT
Summertime often becomes a time when curious children end up at the hospital with accidental poisonings.

The Poison Control Center at Children's Hospital is busy year-round but in summer, when families spend more time outside, they handle a different set of hazards.

Dr. Kevin Osterhoudt says, in the past month, two kids have been seriously hurt from drinking tiki torch oil and 25 children have been hospitalized for this in the past two years.

Osterhoudt says young children are attracted by familiar things, and many oil bottles look like juice bottles.

In fact, Dr. Osterhoudt pointed to a bottle of apple juice and a bottle of oil, saying "It would be easy for a child, or even an adult, to confuse them."

"In one case, we had a child who actually seemed to think this was a sippy cup, and put his mouth on it and drank from it," Dr. Osterhoudt added.

Dr. Osterhoudt says children have also confused a harmless sports drink with the much more dangerous car antifreeze.

Pesticides, insect repellents, pool, auto and garden products should all be kept out of reach and out of sight.

As far as natural hazards are concerned, be on the lookout for poison ivy. Some experts think climate change is making it grow bigger, and itchier.

Poisonous snakes like rattlers and copperhead live as far south as Montgomery County, and can deliver a serious bite.