CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Back-to-school season can cause chaos as people struggle to get back into schoolyear habits. It’s a time of transitions and new routines. But this year, with virtual school, quarantines and constant change, new and changing routines can lead to poisonings.

The West Virginia Poison Center warns about possible hazards during the school year. These hazards include:

  • Medication mixups
  • Medication double doses
  • Online dares
  • Mistakes with caffeine

Mornings can be hectic with everyone scrambling to get out of the house. When in a hurry and distracted, medication mix-ups can occur. Taking someone else’s medication can be dangerous. The poison center recommends slowing down, reading all medication labels and keeping medications in their original container until ready for use. They also emphasized to not lay medicine on the counter; it could be mistaken for someone else’s or a child could get it.

In order to prevent medication double doses, the poison center recommends families pick one parent or adult to consistently give medication. This keeps from both parents or multiple adults giving a child the same medication without realizing it. Another trick to prevent a double dose is keeping a medication log or chart to check off when medicines are given.

Dares have been around for a long time but have risen in popularity with the Internet and social media. It is important to talk about the dangers of dares. While some may be harmless, others may cause harm, especially dares involving medications or chemicals. One example is the ‘Tide pod challenge’ that became popular on the internet, where young people would dare or challenge each other to eat Tide pods.

One thing that might not seem as obviously harmful can also cause nausea, insomnia, headaches, and rapid heartbeat. Caffeine can help students study or get through a long day of school and extracurricular activities, but the poison center warns that large doses of caffeine can cause harm. They recommend limiting the amount of caffeine that young people consume.

The West Virginia Poison Center can be reached at this number, 1-800-222-1222. The center recommends saving the number in case of emergencies. WVPC said to not wait for symptoms to appear before calling if a poisoning does occur.

For more information and resources call the West Virginia Poison Center number or visit their website,