The Illinois Poison Control Center says its hotline calls go up 20 percent during the summer, and that’s largely due to five summer outdoor hazards.
Here’s the list:
1. Sunscreen accidentally swallowed or licked off hands by kids after it’s been applied. Sunscreen is minimally toxic, but it should only be applied to children by adults and kept out of kids’ reach.
2. Chronic over-application of insect repellents containing DEET. Some cases have caused vomiting, fever, coma and seizures.
3. Pool chemicals, especially those containing chlorine. Always open and use in a well-ventilated area, wearing eye and skin protection, and never sniff a chemical to see how potent it may be. Don't mix chemicals unless the product labels say it's OK to do so.
4. Plants: Most leaves and berries aren’t significantly toxic, but some that pose a serious risk if eaten by small children are yew berries, foxglove, lily of the valley and pokeweed.
5. Insect, spider and snake bites and stings: Black widow and brown recluse spider bites are potentially serious. Venomous massasauga and copperhead snakes are also to be avoided. Their bites require anti-venom treatment.
The phone number of the not-for-profit poison center’s 24-hour hotline is 1-800-222-1222.
The website is www.illinoispoisoncenter.org.