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

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June 25, 2019
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Prevent a Trip to the Hospital! - Tips from NJ Poison Control! 

Summer days should be spent outdoors enjoying the sunshine and warm weather not inside the emergency department of your local hospital. From common household items to poisonous plants to heat-related illness, poisonings happen anywhere, anytime and to anyone.

“Safety is no an accident, it’s a choice,” says Diane P. Calello, MD, Executive and Medical Director of the NJ Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “Since most poisonings are preventable, it’s important to focus your attention on identifying and preventing potential hazards both at home and outdoors.

Sunburn, unsafe swimming and sweltering temperatures should not be the only concerns when heading to the pool on a bright sunny day. “Some pool and hot tub chemicals, which are necessary to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the water, can be dangerous and must be used and stored properly. For example, chlorine can cause eye irritation, breathing problems and lung injury if used in high concentrations or in poorly ventilated enclosed spaces,” says Calello. “There are a few things to keep in mind when handling chlorine – it should never be ingested; avoid shaking containers to minimize dust, fumes and splashes; open containers outdoors if possible; and do not touch chlorine with bare hands.

If you are swimming in a heated indoor pool, be cautious of how you are feeling. People die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty indoor pool heaters. If you suddenly have a headache, feel nauseous or dizzy, vomit, etc., immediately get outside to fresh air and call the Poison Control Center for help, 1-800-222-1222.


Prevent Summer-Related Poisonings

  • Use caution while being in the sun - some medications can greatly increase the risk for heat-related illness and/or severe sunburn even when using sunscreen.

  • Do not cross-contaminate! Cooked foods should not be placed on plates or in containers that previously held raw meat, poultry, fish, or seafood without washing them with soap and water first.

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning happens in the summer. Never use a grill indoors (in a garage, shed, camper, tent, etc.). Also, swim and play away from boat engines.

  • Use EPA approved insect repellent (DEET at least 20% or more) to prevent the spread of disease from mosquitoes and ticks (Zika Virus, Lyme Disease, and West Nile Virus).

  • When friends and family visit, lock up all their medicines (prescriptions, over-the-counters, dietary/ herbal supplements, vitamins). Children, teens and pets die every year because medicines are easily accessible.

  • Store charcoal lighter fluid and lamp/torch oil in locked cabinets, away from food and drink and out of sight and reach of children and pets. Swallowing these products can lead to serious poisoning and even death.

  • Use caution when drinking alcoholic beverages while also taking medicine. They may interact and cause serious health consequences. 

  • Do not pick plants/mushrooms to eat from your backyard or fields. Many people suffer serious health effects and even die each year from mushroom poisoning.

  • When giving/taking medicine, use a dosing device (syringe or cup), not a household spoon meant for eating. Using a household spoon increases the risk for overdose.

  • Clean up immediately after parties. Cigarette butts, alcohol and liquid nicotine can be dangerous to both children and pets. It does not take much for them to get very sick.

  • Hot cars can kill within minutes. Never leave children or pets alone inside parked cars. Leaving the windows down does not prevent temperatures inside the car from rising to deadly levels.


“As your family enjoys the summer, I want you to be proactive by remembering these safety tips,” says Calello. “The state poison control center will be here to respond to your calls if you need our help.” Every minute counts in poisoning situations so do not guess, make the call immediately to the poison center, 1-800-222-1222. “Our experts are not only a great resource in the event of an emergency, but also when you have questions or concerns.”

March 07, 2019
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“Natural” Doesn’t Mean Safe and Effective (From the NJ Poison Control) 

As spring (and spring break) quickly approaches, many are starting to get back in shape after a long winter.  For most, this means a strict regimen of diet and exercise, but with only a few short weeks until beach season, some may look to dietary supplements for a quick fix. Although many supplements are safe when used as directed on the label, there are supplements on the market that may be ineffective and even dangerous. NJ Poison Control experts caution consumers to beware of claims that seem too good to be true, and to consult a medical professional before introducing dietary supplements. 

“Supplements on the market, even those sold at reputable health food stores, are not tested and regulated for safety and effectiveness the same way prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs are,” warns Diane Calello, MD, Executive and Medical Director of the NJ Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “A dietary supplement is considered safe until it is proven unsafe, unlike drugs which are considered unsafe until proven safe by research and clinical trial testing.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements as food, not as drugs, therefore the responsibility of evaluating the safety, effectiveness and labeling integrity of a supplements is left to the manufacturer, not the FDA. “Consumers must be aware of the potential health risks of dietary supplements. Products may contain hidden ingredients (not listed on the label), be addictive, contain recalled/illegal ingredients, interact poorly with other medicines, be contaminated with toxic heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants, or cause dangerous unknown side effects,” says Calello.

Consumers should be skeptical when purchasing products online, especially health-related products. Just because a product is sold over-the-counter (OTC) or on the Internet, doesn’t mean the product is safe and/or without side effects; remember all medicines have side effects, even prescription drugs. Be sure to research the products and consult your healthcare provider before buying or using any supplement. Since this is an industry with fewer regulations, it is easier for manufacturers to make false claims about the safety and effectiveness of their products.

If you do decide to incorporate supplements into your daily living, be a safe and informed consumer. Keep these tips in mind;

  • Regularly check the FDA’s Medication Health Fraud webpage for health products that have been flagged by the FDA.
  • Select supplements with only the ingredient(s) you need. The more ingredients, the greater the chances of harmful side effects.
  • Look for supplements with the USP or NF on the label. This indicates that the manufacturer of the product followed standards set by the US Pharmacopoeia in making the product.
  • Be sure to follow the dosing instructions on the label; do not take more than the manufacturer recommends. More does not mean better. Large doses of dietary supplements can result in toxic effects such as overdose.
  • Use caution with alternative medicine products; some have been found to contain toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury.
  • Substituting a supplement for a prescription medicine or therapy can be dangerous.
  • Consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider if you are currently taking prescription medicines or have a chronic health condition.
  • While pregnant or breastfeeding, only take supplements recommended or prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • The term “all natural” does not guarantee the product is safe and effective. In fact, many of these products are tainted withprescription drugs, recalled ingredients, and other chemicals not listed on the label.
  • Be skeptical of any product claiming to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease or chronic medical conditions (i.e. Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, autism, multiple sclerosis, etc.).
  • Start with one supplement at a time in case you experience side effects. If feeling unwell, stop taking the product and report effects to your healthcare provider and the FDA.
  • Some supplements can cause serious problems during or after a surgical procedure/operation including dental surgery.  Be sure to discuss all supplements with your surgeon.
  • Avoid supplements that claim to help you lose weight or improve your sexual or athletic performance. This includes products that advertise they are a legal alternative to anabolic steroids.
  • Purchase supplements at retail stores, not over the Internet or via mass email marketing.
  • Spot false claims; if a product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Overdose is a serious concern with any medicine including herbal, dietary and fitness supplements. If you have questions regarding a supplement or are experiencing unwanted side effects from a supplement, the medical professionals at the NJ Poison Control Center are available to provide expert, medical treatment advice.

January 07, 2019
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Most common poisons in children

  • cosmetics and personal care products
  • cleaning substances and laundry products
  •  pain medicine
  • foreign bodies such as toys, coins, thermometers
  • topical preparations 
  • vitamins
  • antihistamines
  • pesticides
  • plants
  • antimicrobials


Bottom Line:

Children will swallow anything they can reach. Most of the time, these objects pass through the gastrointestinal tract with no trouble; the object turns up in the child's stool. Sometimes, surgery is needed to remove the object(s). In one recent study, coins made up 80 percent of swallowed foreign objects that had to be removed by surgery.

Source: &


November 01, 2018
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From New Jersey Poison Control:

(Newark, NJ) – Warning. During New Jersey’s 2017 – 2018 heating season, the state’s poison control center received approximately 250 calls related to carbon monoxide (CO). Of these, 162 victims were evaluated in emergency departments and many required hospitalization.

Don’t be the poison center’s next statistic. Exposure to carbon monoxide can produce headaches, sleepiness, fatigue, confusion and irritability at low levels. At higher levels, it can result in nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, impaired vision and coordination, and death. During cold and influenza season, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can easily be confused with symptoms of viral illnesses like the common cold and the flu.

“Prevention and early detection are crucial in preventing poisoning injury and death from carbon monoxide,” says Diane Calello, MD, Executive and Medical Director of the NJ Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine. The sudden shift in frigid weather forced homeowners and landlords to have to turn on their heating systems earlier than expected; without having them properly serviced beforehand to prevent CO exposure. 

“You want to catch a leak before it turns into a serious problem,” says Calello. Carbon monoxide is called the “Silent Killer” because it is a gas that gives no warning – you can’t see it, smell it or taste it. “Don’t gamble with your family’s health and well-being; CO detectors are a must.” Battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors should be put on every level of the home and near every sleeping area. Always check the batteries of both detectors (fire and CO) when changing the clocks twice a year for daylight savings time. 

Safety tips to help reduce your risk of carbon monoxide exposure:

  1. If you do not have any carbon monoxide detectors, install them right away. If your detectors are old and/or not working properly, replace them immediately.
  2. Don’t remove the batteries from detectors to use somewhere else. The detector can only save lives if it works.
  3. Gas appliances must have adequate ventilation. If need be, keep a window slightly cracked to allow airflow.
  4. Open flues when fireplaces are in use. Have chimneys inspected periodically to prevent blockage.
  5. Never use the stove to heat your home/apartment. 
  6. Only use generators outside. Keep them more than 20 feet from both you and your neighbor’s home, doors, or windows.
  7. Do not bring generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage, carport, camper, boat cabin, or tent – or even outside near an open window or door.
  8. DO NOT cook with charcoal indoors.
  9. DO NOT idle a car in a closed garage. Once you pull in, immediately turn off the engine. Be extra careful with “remote start” engines which may be on without your knowledge.


If you suspect a carbon monoxide exposure, take immediate action:  

  1. If someone is unconscious or unresponsive, get him or her out of the house and call 9-1-1 immediately.
  2. Exit the house/building immediately. Do not waste time opening windows. This will delay your escape and cause you to breathe in even more dangerous fumes.
  3. Contact your local fire department/energy provider.
  4. Call the NJ Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for immediate medical treatment advice. Do not waste time looking for information on the internet about carbon monoxide poisoning.  Call us for fast, free and accurate information.


Carbon monoxide poisoning is serious. If you have questions or concerns about carbon monoxide or suspect CO exposure, call the medical professionals at the NJ Poison Control Center. If someone is unconscious, not breathing, hard to wake up, or seizing, call 9-1-1 immediately.  Poison control centers are a great resource for information and emergencies. Call, text, or chat with a health professional for free, 24/7.  Save the Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222, in your phone today to be prepared for what may happen tomorrow, (   

Please contact us with any questions or concerns!

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