Four Seasons 1 - Poisoning Hazards For Autumn

Four Seasons 1 - Poisoning Hazards For Autumn

As summer fades into autumn, the change in the weather can signal a change in potential hazards both in the home and garden. Identifying potential poisoning risks around the home and garden during autumn helps to safeguard all family members and ensures these tasks can be carried out safely.

Mushrooms
Gardening
Rodenticides
Antifreeze
Medicines
Mothballs
Autumn Festivities

Mushrooms

The cooler mornings provide ideal conditions for the proliferation of mushrooms and toadstools in fields and gardens. They can only be identified by an expert - some of the most toxic mushrooms look very similar to edible mushrooms. Even a small ingestion can be very dangerous.


Gardening

Autumn leaves are fun to play in, but fallen plant debris, like leaves and berries, are easy for young children and pets to eat. It is also the time to prune roses and plant bulbs. Many different parts of a plant can be poisonous.


Insecticide and fungicide sprays used to ensure plants remain healthy and disease free over winter can also be dangerous if not used with care.


Rodenticides

The cooler temperatures cause rodents move indoors, increasing the use of rodenticides by homeowners. Baits can often be picked up by children and pets.


Antifreeze

In anticipation of colder driving conditions, coolants such as antifreeze are added to vehicles. Antifreeze poses a serious poisoning risk even tiny amounts can be dangerous to children, adults and pets.


Medicines

Autumn means cold, flu and hayfever medications may become more widely used. As people begin to train for the winter sports season, heat rubs and sports gels are used more frequently. This can increase the risk of accidental overdoses and interactions between medicines.


Mothballs

As the cooler weather begins, warm clothing may be retrieved, which may have been stored with mothballs. Children can sometimes mistake mothballs for sweets, and serious symptoms can result from even small ingestions.


Autumn Festivities

Many families celebrate Easter with lots of delicious chocolate, as well as enjoying a warming mug of cocoa in the chillier evenings. However, chocolate products are very poisonous to animals, especially dogs, where they can cause serious heart toxicity.



Related Resources
National Poisons Centre: Poisonous Plants in New Zealand - A National Poisons Centre brochure detailing poisonous plant information as well as first aid and prevention information
Plants That Poison - A New Zealand Guide - A colourful, informative and easy-to-use book every NZ home should have
Prevent Poisoning: Keeping Children Safe From Poisons - A brochure on general poisoning prevention information including home safety tips
Put Your Kid's Safety First - A brochure detailing the risk of dishwasher detergents and simple safety tips for their use