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Louisiana Poison Center gears up for unofficial "glow stick week - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Louisiana Poison Center gears up for unofficial "glow stick week"

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It's unofficially "Glow Stick Week" at the Louisiana Poison Center.

Workers say they get hundreds of calls from concerned parents in the days surrounding Halloween about children accidentally ingesting the neon-colored light-up toys.

Glow sticks are popular in costumes, and some parents hand them to trick-or-treaters to keep their little ghosts, goblins and witches visible for motorists.

Poison Center authorities say the problem comes when kids break up or chew on the toys.

The fluorescent glow smudged across a child's face may look radioactive, but experts say the dibutyl phthalate inside is low in toxicity. It usually causes a slight irritation to the mouth or throat.

Still, poison control operators say if you're concerned about any substance, it's better to be safe than sorry.

"Even if before you do something, go ahead call and ask us," says Dr. Mark Ryan, La. Poison Center. "We'd be much happier to avert something than to have to deal with something after the fact."

For Ingestion:

  • Don't be alarmed if your child's lips and tongue glow for a few minutes.
  • Wipe the mouth with a clean wet washcloth; go over the tongue and around the gum line.
  • Give the child a glass of water.

For Eye Exposure:

  • Irrigate exposed eye(s) with a generous amount of room temperature water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Call the Carolinas Poison Center for persistent irritation, swelling, pain or sensitivity to light.

For Skin Exposure:

  • Remove any clothing that is wet with the liquid.
  • Wash the exposed skin areas thoroughly with soap and water.

Another Halloween staple, dry ice exposure can have more permanent effects like frostbite or tissue damage.

Ryan urges users to be careful when handling dry ice and says it shouldn't be used in drinks.

If you have any questions for Louisiana Poison Control, call 1 (800) 222-1222. Nurses and physicians man the phone lines 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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