Poison

From wild parsnip to ingestion of camping products like lantern fuels, there's more than poison ivy to worry about in the outdoors. Follow these tips to keep clear of painful poisons, and learn what do to in case of exposure.

snake

Did you know?

Snake bites may be rare, but if they occur don't suck out the venom or cut the site. Seek medical attention immediately.

Keep it out of your mouth

  • Don't eat the berries unless you can identify them. If you do, and experience symptoms like a burning or numbing sensation, wipe the mouth clean and call the Poison Center immediately.
  • Wild mushrooms may be prized, but they are difficult to identify, even with a field guide. Don't eat them unless you're with a trained guide.
  • Make sure to label stove and lantern fuels, which can look like juice to children. If ingested, call the Poison Center immediately.

Keep it off your skin

  • Wild Parsnip is a common plant that can leave a painful rash that won't appear until exposed to the sun.
  • Poison Ivy is the classic outdoor irritant. Keep an eye out for its distinctive three leaves.
  • When using bug sprays that contain DEET, make sure to use lower concentration on skin and a higher concentration on clothes.

What to do in case of exposure

Mouth

  • Remove the plant, berry, or liquid.
  • Gently wipe mouth with a wet cloth.
  • Call the Poison Center immediately.

Eyes

  • Wash hands with soap and water to avoid further irritation to the eyes.
  • Rinse eye by gently pouring lukewarm water from a clean container held 2-4 inches above the eye.
  • Call the Poison Center for further treatment instructions.

Skin

  • Remove contaminated clothing.
  • Wash skin well with soap and water.
  • Call the Poison Center for further treatment instructions.

Talk to an expert

You can call the Hennepin Regional Poison Center from anywhere to ask about stings, ingestion and other poison exposures. It could save you a trip to the Emergency Room. If you need to go to a hospital, the Poison Center can contact the facility you're heading to and help them get going on treatment and medications. You can reach the Poison Center at 800-222-1222. Go ahead and save it in your cell phone.