background image
Health & Nurturing
2015 May
Pg 7 - The Sunshine Express
or bottle of the poison, the time of the
poison exposure and the address where
the poisoning occurred.
Know the signs: Reactions to ingested
medications or household products may
vary. Look for signs such as vomiting,
drowsiness and any residue odor on the
child¡¯s mouth and teeth. But know that
some products cause no immediate
In this study, the researchers tested
the sensor on four types of meat: pork,
chicken, cod, and salmon. They found that
when refrigerated, all four types stayed
fresh over four days. Left unrefrigerated,
the samples all decayed, but at varying
There are other sensors that can detect
the signs of decaying meat, but they are
usually large and expensive instruments
that require expertise to operate. ¡°The ad-
vantage we have is these are the cheap-
est, smallest, easiest-to-manufacture
sensors,¡± Swager says.
¡°There are several potential advantages in
having an inexpensive sensor for measur-
ing, in real time, the freshness of meat
and fish products, including prevent-
ing foodborne illness, increasing overall
customer satisfaction, and reducing food
waste at grocery stores and in consumers¡¯
homes,¡± says Roberto Forloni, a senior sci-
ence fellow at Sealed Air, a major supplier
of food packaging, who was not part of
the research team.
The new device also requires very little
power and could be incorporated into a
wireless platform Swager¡¯s lab recently
developed that allows a regular smart-
phone to read output from carbon nano-
tube sensors such as this one.
The researchers have filed for a patent on
the technology and hope to license it for
commercial development. The research
was funded by the National Science
Foundation and the Army Research Office
through MIT¡¯s Institute for Soldier Nano-
(source: Anne Trafton, MIT News Office)
symptoms, so if you suspect that your child has ingested a
potentially hazardous substance, call the poison hotline im-
Keep calm: It¡¯s important to remain calm so you can effec-
tively communicate with emergency personnel. If the child
ingested medication, do not give anything to the child by
mouth until advised by the poison control center. If chemi-
cals or household products have been swallowed, call the
poison control center immediately or follow the first aid
instructions on the label.
Medications can keep you healthy but can be extremely
dangerous if taken by the wrong person or in the wrong
amount. Add in a child¡¯s insatiable curiosity, and you have
the ingredients for a very serious and dangerous situation.
Fortunately, with a little vigilance, you can keep your little
ones safe.
For more information visit:
Keeping It Safe
improper use.
Lock it up: Don¡¯t leave
your next dose out on
the counter where a child
can reach it. Tightly se-
cure caps and lock up all
medications and vitamins
in a cool, dry place. Keep
medications in their origi-
nal labeled containers so
if there is an emergency,
you can tell medical per-
sonnel exactly what the
child ingested.
Do not share: Be sure to
remind children that they
should never share their
medications. When play-
ing ¡°doctor,¡± friends and
younger siblings of those
taking a medication are
often the recipients, lead-
ing to an accidental poi-
soning. This is an impor-
tant message for teens,
too, as this behavior often
leads to prescription-drug
How to respond to acci-
dental poisonings
If you suspect a child has
ingested a potentially poi-
sonous substance, here is
what you should do:
Know your numbers: If
the child has collapsed
or is not breathing, dial
911 immediately. If the
child is awake and alert,
call the poison hotline at
800.222.1222 and follow
the operator¡¯s instructions.
If possible, have avail-
able the victim¡¯s age and
weight, the container
Avoid an accident
with poison prevention at home
(BPT) Nearly 1 million children under the
age of 5 are exposed to potentially poi-
sonous medications and household chemi-
cals every year, according to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention. And
more than 60,000 young children end up
in the emergency room each year from
wrongly ingesting medications.
It¡¯s not only parents who need to be
aware of the risks; many of these inci-
dents occur outside of a child¡¯s home. In
fact, in 23 percent of the cases in which
a child under age 5 mistakenly ingested
an oral prescription drug, the medication
belonged to someone who did not live
with the child, such as an elderly relative
or grandparent.
Medications can be poisonous, too
Parents know to keep household clean-
ers and other chemicals out of the reach
of children, but should also be cautious
about prescriptions, over-the-counter
medications and vitamins.
There is no better time than now to learn
more about preventing accidental and
unintentional poisonings. Here are some
important tips you can share with family
and friends.
Be cautious of colors: Medications are
colorful and at-
tractive to chil-
dren and can
be mistaken for
candy. For ex-
ample, Tums look
like SweeTarts,
and Advil and
Ecotrin resemble
Skittles or M&M¡¯s.
Parents should
not encourage
children to take
their medication
by comparing it
to candy, as this
may lead to
¡°Red meat is not bad for
you. Now blue-green meat,
that¡¯s bad for you!¡±
- Tommy Smothers