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Spring Hazards

The advent of Spring and Summer months bring an increase in the incidence of poisonings in children. The Nebraska Regional Poison Center wishes to caution parents on some of the potential Spring and Summer hazards.

Decreased Supervision of Children

With warm weather, children play outdoors more, making supervision difficult. Children are often poisoned when there is a change in household routine, such as a weekend outing, moving, family vacation or visitors in your home.

Insect Repellents

Avoid using insect repellents with high concentrations of DEET in children. Concentrations can vary from 5% to 100%. Parents should apply repellent to their own hands and then rub on their child's skin, making sure they wash their hands when finished. Avoid applying to hands and fingers of small children which may be put into mouths or rubbed into the eyes.


Pesticides can be extremely toxic when used improperly. Safety measures must be followed in the storage, application and disposal of pesticides and their containers.

Storage: Always store pesticides in their original containers with a complete label. Keep in a locked cabinet. Never store in empty food containers that may be mistaken for food.

Application: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR PROPER USAGE. Remove jewelry and leather clothing before using pesticides. These items cannot be decontaminated adequately. Wear clothing that covers you completely and can be washed after use. Keep children, pets, food and eating utensils away from areas where pesticides have been sprayed for a minimum of 24 hours.

Disposal: Wrap containers in several sheets of newspaper, secure tightly and place in covered trash receptacle.

Plants and Mushrooms

Many outdoor and indoor plants are poisonous. This includes the berries on many plants. Know the names of your plants to ensure proper identification. All yard mushrooms are considered poisonous unless positively identified otherwise by a trained mycologist. View some of the Poisonous and Non-Poisonous plants.

Solvents used in Spring Cleaning

Cleaning products can be poisonous so follow label instructions and use them carefully. When using these products be sure to have good ventilation and don't leave cleaning supplies within reach of children.


With warm weather, hydrocarbons in the form of gasoline, kerosene and charcoal lighter fluid make their appearance. Every year children are poisoned when gasoline or motor oil are placed in pop bottles. Store all of these products in their original containers. Oil based paints, paint thinners and turpentine can also be harmful, even if ingested in small amounts.


Don't let children play in places where bees and wasps nest. Try to avoid playing in fields of clover or wildflowers, and around blooming fruit trees. Avoid scented cosmetics and soaps, bright colored and flowery printed clothing, and shiny jewelry that attract stinging insects. Light colors such as white, green, tan and khaki are best. Also keep food covered until the moment of disposal.

If you suspect your child has been poisoned, call The Nebraska Regional Poison Center immediately, 1-800-222-1222 or in the Omaha area 955-5555.