Frequently reported poisons are often commonplace items
Host Amber Smith: Here's some expert advice from Michelle Khalifa from the Upstate New York Poison center. What are the top five poisonings for all age groups seeking help from the poison center.
Michele Caliva: It has been consistent, if we look at the data for many, many years. It's acetaminophen. It's the active ingredient, for example, in Tylenol -- Tylenol is a brand name -- and for ibuprofen, so Motrin or Advil. We think that that's probably related to the fact that most people have it available and accessible. Acetaminophen is very, very dangerous. It causes death to the liver if it's taken in an overdose, and it really makes people very, very sick. And we see it pretty consistently.
And then bleach is still there as our No. 2. , household products. People are cleaning with bleach. We saw an uptick during COVID; that's continued. Bleach, for example. It's taking your bleach and mixing it with your ammonia because you really, really want to get that bathroom floor clean. And that's a terrible combination. It actually produces chlorine gas, which can make someone have difficulty breathing.
And then our No. 3 was hand sanitizers. Again, I think a throwback to what we were all doing with COVID. So hand sanitizers are 70% alcohol. Really problematic if a little person gets into 70% alcohol. It's actually not good for any of us. But drinking hand sanitizer can lower the blood sugar level in little kids and can make them sick. So that's a problem.
And then we are seeing antidepressants. Very often, it's individuals that maybe have taken too much or have overdosed on their own medications.
And then also some sedatives, so that would be like a benzodiazepine, so people might recognize the name Valium or Ativan. So those were our top five for all age cohorts, so that would be zero to 100.
Host Amber Smith: You've been listening to Michelle Caliva the Upstate New York Poison Center, which can be reached at 1 800-2 2 2 - 1 2 2 2.