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Ontario Poison Centre

Fall Hazards

The fall season brings with it cooler weather and nature's prettiest colours. As seasons change, so do the kinds of poisons that are commonly found in and around the home. As the weather grows colder, we begin using various devices to warm our homes including furnaces, fireplaces and stoves. These devices, if not working properly, may emit a highly toxic gas known as carbon monoxide.

Also in the cold weather we tend to use products that are designed not to freeze at cold temperatures. Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid are refilled more frequently in the colder temperatures and are very poisonous. Small children that are curious may try to taste these products because the bright colours make it look like a tasty drink. Children may drink large amounts because it tastes sweet.

Carbon Monoxide

  • Have your heating system checked every year by a qualified inspector before turning the furnace on in the fall.
  • Make sure that your chimney is checked each year and cleared of any blockages such as branches or birds’ nests.
  • Use fuel-burning heaters only in well ventilated areas, and only as directed.
  • Never leave a motorized vehicle running in the garage.
  • All homes should have a carbon monoxide detector installed. If it alarms, leave the house immediately and call 911. If anyone in the home has symptoms such as headaches or dizziness they should go to the nearest Emergency Department.


Halloween Safety

Halloween can be a time of fun and adventure for children but parents need to use caution to keep their children safe.

  • Treats should be checked before eating. Do not eat unwrapped treats or treats that have holes or tears in the wrapping.
  • Use non-toxic face paint or makeup.
  • Dry ice is sometimes put into punch bowls. Do not touch or drink it. If touched it can cause frostbite; if swallowed dry ice can cause burns inside your mouth.
  • Glow sticks and necklaces are popular with children on Halloween. Sometimes children will break the stick or chew through it, causing the liquid to get in their mouth, on their skin or in their eyes. The liquid is not very harmful, but can cause a stinging or burning sensation if splashed on their skin or in their eyes

First Aid

If your child comes in contact with the liquid in a glow stick follow our First Aid advice.


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