Poison hotline key to emergency care

Milam County Health Director

Poison Prevention Week is March 14- 20, The Texas Poison Center Net work (TPCN) was established in 1993. Six regional poison centers were established to provide emergency treatment to Texans for poisonings or toxic exposures.

Each year the Central Texas Poison Center receives approximately 60,000 calls about poisonings. A large number are about children who have ingested potentially dangerous substances found in the home.

A 24- hour toll free hotline has been established. By dialing 1-800-222-1222, Texans have access to a network of nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, and physicians who have extensive education, training, and expertise in the field of toxicology.

If necessary, the staff may refer callers to the nearest hospital and assist in the person’s initial treatment and follow-up care.

In addition, the Texas Poison Center Network has the responsibility for providing public education activities for teachers, students, and citizens as well as professional educational opportunities for Texas health care providers.

Poison centers are located in Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, Galves- ton, San Antonio and Temple. EMERGENCIES—Here are some emergency actions for poisoning:

Swallowed—(Medicines), Do not give anything by mouth until you call the Poison Center; nonmedicines, if patient is conscious and can swallow, give a small amount of milk or water, then call the poison center.

Inhaled—Immediately get the person to fresh air. Avoid breathing fumes. Call the hotline.

On the skin—Remove contaminated clothing and flood skin with water for 10 minutes. Call the hotline. In the eye—Rinse eyes with lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes. Call the hotline.

Insect bites—Remove stinger when applicable. Call the hotline. If patient develops breathing problems, or rash, call 911.

Venomous snake bites—Remove any jewelry. Do not cut and try to extract the venom. Do not use ice or a tourniquet. Do not try to capture the snake. Call the hotline for instructions then go to the nearest hospital.

WARNING—Don’t attempt to make anyone throw up unless advised to by the poison center, emergency center or physician.

If you would like to know more information regarding poisons, you make want to try these websites: or

ROAD SHOW— Our recent road shows were successes.

Many folks still don’t know all of the services the Health Department offers and because of this the idea of a public health awareness campaign was born.

Our first show, the Wellness Roundup looked at services for all ages, some of those are vaccines for children and adults, well child screenings, travel vaccines, blood sugar and blood pressure checks, ImmTrac vaccine database and septic services.

With our second show, the Prevention Parade, we highlighted services for infants, preschoolers, new parents and expectant parents.

The Health Department provides low or no cost vaccines to children, pregnant women and children to age 5 with supplemental nutrition through the WIC program, newborn screenings and Texas Health Steps check-ups. Public Health is a vital part of keeping the community healthy because it provides services to keep each individual healthy.

Milam County

Health Department • Local hours—Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.-noon and 1- 4:30 p.m. • Phone—Rockdale office: 512-446-4026. Cameron office: 254-697-7039. • Web site:

Provides immunizations, TB tests, a well-child clinic, septic inspections, vision and hearing screenings, blood pressure checks, diabetes screening, STD tests, indigent health care applications, food handlers inspections.

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