Georgia nurse warns of accidental poison dangers during pandemic

May 3, 2020
1 min read

ATLANTA — With children home from school and day care, incidents of accidental poisoning and calls to poison control are up.

For one Georgia nurse, the reality of accidental poisoning is all too real after her daughter, Tess, swallowed lighter fluid in the family’s backyard. Tess’ mother and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta are reminding parents to inspect their homes and move any chemicals that kids could accidentally ingest.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta shared Tess’ story on their facebook page. The text of the post is below in its entirety.

“Parents, please read: With families spending so much time at home, poison control teams are seeing a rise in accidental ingestions among kids. Tess faced life-threatening injuries after swallowing lighter fluid. The 2-year-old’s mom, who is also a pediatric nurse, is now sharing their story with hopes of preventing it from happening to others:”

“While playing in the backyard, something by the fire pit caught Tess’ eye. Unfortunately, that something was a mostly empty bottle of lighter fluid. In an instant, she tilted the bottle up to her lips and took a sip. There wasn’t much in the bottle, but it was enough to wreak havoc on her digestive tract.

“Soon, my little girl had turned grayish-blue and stopped breathing. As a nurse, I knew this was serious. Very serious. We called 911 and arrived at Children’s in an ambulance.

“After a very scary 24 hours, Tess turned a corner. We got to take our little girl home later that week. Not all kids are so lucky. 

“On behalf of all parents, I beg you: Check your home and yards for chemical hazards. It’s not just the bottles in your medicine cabinet or under the sink you need to worry about. Check everywhere—the yard, garage, porch, shelves you think are out of reach. It can and does happen in seconds—the amount of time it takes to send a text message or scroll past a Facebook post.””

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