Pediatrician - Wall
3350 Highway 138 Building 2 Suite 126
Wall, NJ 07719

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August 26, 2014
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Written by: Steven Marcus, MD, Executive and Medical Director & Bruce Ruck, Pharm.D., Director, Drug Information and Professional Education

As September approaches it’s time to celebrate the last days of summer. Here is the last of our Summer Safety Tips! Don’t spend your holiday in an emergency room. Prevent mishaps from occurring ….Remember, most poisonings are preventable! Follow the safety tips below.
• Do not cross-contaminate! Cooked foods should not be placed on any unwashed plates/containers that previously 
held raw meat, poultry, fish, or seafood.
• Cold foods should be kept refrigerated when not being served. Do not let food sit out at room temperature for more 
than 2 hours.
• Always wash hands and counters before preparing food. Use clean utensils for cooking and serving.
Medication (prescription, over-the-counter, herbal, dietary)
• When friends and family visit, lock up all of their medications (prescription and over-the-counter). Children, teens and 
pets die every year because adults (parents, guardians, grandparents, etc.) fail to realize the danger of keeping 
medicines in non-secure medicine cabinets, closets and drawers.
• Safely dispose of any unused and/or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications in the home. Remind the 
seniors in your lives to do the same. Drop-off sites are available in NJ where these medications can be properly 
discarded. Call the NJ Poison Experts at 800-222-1222 for local drop-off site near you. 
• Use caution with alcoholic beverages since the alcohol may interact with medications. Check with your pharmacist or 
the Poison Control Center to find out if an interaction may occur. Some medications can greatly increase the chance 
for severe sunburn.
Chemicals (pool products, pesticides, fertilizers, lamp oil, kerosene, lighter fluids, automotive fluids, etc.)
• Jugs containing lamp or torch oil must be stored in locked cabinets away from food and drinks. When accidentally 
taken by mouth, such lamp or torch oils can enter the lungs causing pneumonia and even death
Lamp and torch oil refill bottles may closely resemble juice containers; the containers and caps are designed 
similarly, the oils are colorful and fragrant; the liquids are practically identical in appearance with common 
fruit juices/drinks! Since it is difficult to pour the liquid directly from the refill bottle into the torch, consumers frequently pour the 
liquid into a plastic or paper cup in order to then transfer it into the torch. This leaves a cup with what 
appears to be lemonade or apple juice sitting in it making it an invitation for someone to mistakenly ingest the 
substance with a potentially disastrous outcome. Use a funnel to transfer the fluid; do not use drinking cups 
to transfer torch lamp oil from the storage bottle to the lamp, lantern or torch. 
• Read the directions on the label before using. 
• Keep all chemicals locked up out of reach of children and pets.
• Store all chemicals in their original, clearly-marked container. Always use child-resistant caps.
• Store chemicals in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area with a locked entry. 
Always choose the right chemical, for example pesticide, for the job at hand.
• Do not apply products on a windy day.
• Wear protective clothing, masks, eye protection when applying chemicals. Wash clothes, footwear or any exposed 
skin that comes in contact with chemicals.
Backyard Safety
• Know the name of plants and flowers in and around your home, including your yard and garden.
• Be alert to insects that may bite or sting. 
• Make sure all gardening, lawn care products, and pool products are stored in locked cabinets.
• Do not pick plants/mushrooms to eat from your backyard or fields. Even experts are often fooled by look-alikes which 
are toxic.
• Eliminate standing water that collects in birdbaths, buckets and containers, old tires, unused pools and roof gutters. 
Standing water is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Safe Grilling
• Store charcoal lighter fluid in locked cabinets, out of sight and reach of children and pets. Swallowing lighter fluid can 
lead to serious poisoning. 
• When taking cooked food off the grill, do not put it back on the same plate that held raw food.
• Turn meats over at least once to cook evenly.
• Do not partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.
• Use a meat thermometer to make sure meats have reached the proper internal temperature. The color of meat and
poultry is not a good indicator of safety. 
• Never use your gill indoors, in a garage, shed, etc.! 
Sun Exposure 
• Avoid sunburn by limiting time spent in the sun especially when the sun is the strongest (from 10 am to 2 pm). 
• Wear clothing to cover exposed skin (long-sleeve shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses) and regularly apply sunscreen 
with a broad spectrum SPF of 15 or higher.
• Use caution in the sun because some medications can greatly increase the chance for severe sunburn even when 
using sunscreen. Speak to your physician and pharmacist about the medications you take and determine if they 
increase your risk for sunburn!
• Insect repellents such as DEET, picaridin and permethrin may be used on children older than 2 months of age. Oil of 
lemon eucalyptus is not recommended on children under 3 years of age. 
• Do not spray insect repellents on the face since they may irritate the eyes and mouth. Instead, spray onto hands and 
then rub onto the face. Avoid applying repellents to broken skin or wounds, and avoid applying repellents under 
Do not take chances by waiting until symptoms. If an exposure occurs, it’s good to know help is just a phone call away. If 
someone is unconscious, not breathing, seizing/convulsing, bleeding profusely, difficult to arouse/wake up, etc. call 911 
immediately, otherwise call the NJ Poison Experts at (1-800-222-1222). “Don’t waste valuable time looking up information on 
the Internet when every minute counts. Many of the calls we get are genuine emergencies,” said Steven Marcus, MD, executive 
and medical director of the NJ Poison Center. “Having a poison expert give you exact instructions for your specific situation can 
help significantly during those critical first few minutes.”


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3350 Highway 138 Building 2 Suite 126,
Wall, NJ 07719