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Experts warn about poisons during fall and winter

As the weather gets cooler, rodents are looking for warm places like the basement or kitchen of your home.

In the last few years, the Illinois Poison Center has received an average of almost one call per day about someone ingesting poison, with rodent bait being the most common impacting children and pets the most.

Blessing Health Center Nurse Practitioner Kerry Henderson said most rodent pesticide products contain blood thinners to kill the rodents and if a small child ingests the bait it can alter their breathing.

If anyone is believed to have swallowed pesticides, they should be taken to the emergency room.

The National Poison Center suggests if possible use traps instead of poisons to capture rodents and close gaps around all exterior openings and use weather-stripping on doors and windows to prevent them from entering your home.

Another common fall poison is carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. Carbon monoxide can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it, according to the CDC.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen anytime during the year, but cases during colder months tend to be higher due to people using more heat sources, including furnaces, fireplaces and gas stoves.

The Quincy Fire Department said it is important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home to save lives.

“These make a difference, carbon monoxide is a silent killer, it’s a colorless odorless gas, you can’t see it, you have no idea it’s there if it weren’t for these directors, these definitely save a lot of lives,” Firefighter Chad Trueblood said.

It is important to have your furnace checked by a professional and make sure all appliances are working properly to help avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, Trueblood added.

If you think you or someone in your family has ingested poison call the The Poison Control Help number 1-800-222-1222.

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Drew Brown

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