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Spinach, Peanut Butter -- What’s Next?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

With National Poison Prevention Week approaching next week, the Ruth A. Lawrence Poison and Drug Information Center is sharing tips that’ll keep you and your family safer this year.

“This has been a year where it seems nothing is harmless. Peanut butter and spinach scares quickly come to mind,” said Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D., the medical director of the center, which serves the 12-county Finger Lakes area. “People are increasingly concerned about food poisoning, lead poisoning and carbon monoxide poisoning, in addition to the more common poisons that are routinely stored under kitchen sinks, medicine cabinets, or in the garage.”

And no one knows what the next culprit will be, because just about anything can be a poison; it’s just a matter of amount.

“Take water poisoning, for instance. People can even drink so much of the bottled sort that they dilute their body’s natural levels of electrolytes,” Lawrence said.

But don’t stop drinking just yet; those cases are rare. There are much more pertinent tips that cautious parents, grandparents, and babysitters should heed. The center recommends taking control of the following potential scares:

To learn more about poison prevention, tune in for an 8:40 a.m. live interview with John Benitez, M.D., M.P.H., the center’s managing director, on the Spezzano and Sandy 98 PXY morning show Monday, March 19, or stop by a special informational booth noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 22 at Marketplace Mall. Poison experts and educators will be ready to help answer questions and provide you with information that could help you to save a life.

As proud sponsors, and eager to warn parents of latent dangers and outfit them with advice and protective gear, Babies R Us will also be giving away $50 worth of childproofing and safety products through a drawing at the mall event. The Red Wings mascot, Spikes, will also join the festivities. The Poison Center is hoping to encourage the public to visit by offering an additional drawing – for a chance to win one of two iPod Shuffles.

As always, in case of any poison-related emergency or concern, you can reach your local poison center for expert advice, toll-free, at 1 (800)-222-1222.  For more information, visit

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