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Poison Myths

Can you tell the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to poisoning? You can find details about a lot of common poisonous materials below.

Plants

  • Truth

    Poison ivy is not contagious. Touching the rash or blisters cannot spread poison ivy from one person to another. You can get poison ivy if you touch oil from the leaves of the poison ivy plant, which could be on an infected person’s skin or clothes.

  • Truth

    Scratching will not spread the rash. However, fingernails can carry bacteria and scratching blisters can cause an infection.

  • Truth

    Urushiol, which is the oil on the plants, can stay active for up to 5 years.

  • Truth

    Although not meant for eating, these holiday plants are not poisonous. Eating them can irritate the stomach or skin.

  • Truth

    Some foods and plants that humans eat are actually harmful to animals.

Cleaning products

  • Truth

    Children sometimes learn to climb even before they can walk. Lock up all cleaning products and other poisons.

  • Truth

    Each year, children do eat poisonous products that don't taste good.

Medications: prescribed and over-the-counter

  • Truth

    No container is completely childproof. Lock up all medication.

  • Truth

    Herbal medications and natural remedies can be just as dangerous as prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. Lock up these items.

  • Truth

    Putting a finger down a child’s throat can cause serious damage to the throat. If a child swallows something poisonous, call the Poison Control Center for instructions, 1-800-222-1222.

  • Truth

    The American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends syrup of ipecac. If a child swallows something poisonous, call the Poison Control Center for instructions, 1-800-222-1222.

Food

  • Truth

    Only time can help you sober up. Drinking coffee or taking a cold shower does not speed up the process.

  • Truth

    Cooked food should be refrigerated as soon as possible to prevent the growth of bacteria. Food does not need to be cooled to room temperature before it's placed in the refrigerator.

  • Truth

    Heat kills some, but not all, bacteria and viruses present in food.

  • Truth

    Just because an animal is eating a mushroom, does not mean it is safe for humans.

  • Truth

    The most common deadly mushrooms are white.

  • Truth

    Cooking, canning, pickling, freezing and drying mushrooms will not remove toxins.

  • Truth

    There’s only 1 documented case of a poisoning from someone eating Halloween candy, and the child’s father was convicted of that crime. It’s still a good idea to only eat candy that’s sealed in its original wrapper.

24-hour Poison Control Center hotline: 1-800-222-1222

Lead

  • Truth

    Children can be poisoned by putting their fingers in their mouths after touching surfaces that have lead on them.

  • Truth

    Lead dust cannot be completely removed through household cleaning.

  • Truth

    Lead paint can be present in any home built before 1978, no matter what area of the city the house is located in.

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