CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Back to school can be a hectic time for families and experts say that chaos could cause unintentional poisonings to kids.  

“One of the reasons that during new seasons we see different poisons happen is people are getting into new routines and any time theirs a change in a routine or a type of structure that you normally have that can lead to all different types of poisons,” Carissa McBurney, community outreach coordinator for the West Virginia Poison Center, said.  “So, during the back-to-school season, one of the reasons that we see it with medications are people are getting back into the groove of getting their kids to school.”

Medication pills

Some problems that could occur are medication mix-ups. While in a hurry some people could end up taking someone else’s medication. Experts say it’s important to slow down and read all medication labels.  

Another problem that could lead to unintentional poisoning is double doses. To avoid this people can pick one parent to consistently give medication.  

Online dares could also lead to poisoning. Recent trends have encouraged kids to ingest medications or chemicals. Experts say it’s important to talk to children about the dangers of dares.  

Starbuck drive thru

Lastly, unintentional poisonings can come from mistakes with caffeine. Students may use caffeine to help them stay alert during the school year … but large doses can lead to nausea, insomnia, headaches, and rapid heartbeat. Kids should limit the amount of caffeine they drink. 

If a poisoning occurs call the West Virginia Poison Center.  

“If you just call us and not wait for symptoms to appear we can either help you out through that,” McBurney said. “Our nurses can help you with that at home, or if they have any doubt whatso ever they can send you onto one of the hospitals in West Virginia. We have member treatment hospitals that we work closely with that we can provide them with information on exactly what was taken, how much, what they can expect. But a lot of those poisonings can actually be managed at home. So, it’s a great idea to go ahead and call us.” 

 The number for the West Virginia Poison Center is 1-800-222-1222.