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Summer Poison Prevention Tips


Schools have closed and summer vacations have begun...

People who plan to take trips, camp, spend time in back yards, picnic or go to concerts in the park should be aware of some of the poison hazards outdoors and how to protect themselves.

Bites and Stings

  • Most people who are stung by an insect will experience redness, itching, swelling and some pain around the sting site. In some cases, stings can be poisonous, cause allergic reactions or carry diseases.
  • If you are stung by a bee or wasp, and a stinger is present, remove it by scraping across the sting with a broad, firm and flat object like a credit card or stiff cardboard. Do not pinch or squeeze the stinger because this can squeeze more venom into the skin.
  • Wear clothing that will cover as much exposed skin as possible to protect yourself from insect bites and stings when outdoors. While insect repellents and pesticides can protect you from pests such as bees, wasps, mosquitoes and ants, these products also can be a source of poisoning if used improperly.
  • Always follow the label directions carefully and wash your hands after using insect repellents and pesticides, to avoid getting them into the eyes or mouth.

Snake Bites

If a snake bites you or someone you know, wash the bite site thoroughly and call for Poison Help, 1-800-222-1222 right away. The experts at the poison center will help you determine if the snake is poisonous. They will tell you exactly what to do and what to watch for. Read more on the Stinging Insects, Spiders and Snakes information sheet found in the Resource Center at

Spider Bites

Most spider and tick bites do not cause harm. There are a few spiders that can cause illness in some people. Two common spiders that can harm you are the female black widow and the brown recluse. A bite from one of these spiders may cause serious problems in a child, a senior, or a person in poor health. More information about brown recluse bites, black widow bites, symptoms, prevention, and treatment is available on the Stinging Insects, Spiders and Snakes information sheet found in the Resource Center at

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