Experts at the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center say Halloween can be a lot more scary for those kids -and adults- who aren’t careful. Center spokeswoman and registered nurse Tammy Noble says those green, yellow or orange “glow sticks” are great for visibility, but she gets calls every year from parents of kids who’ve chomped them and gotten the chemical goo in their mouths. Noble says it can cause a “burning sensation” in the mouth and she says if it happens, to rinse the mouth with water and call the poison control center for more information. While many party hosts will make their punch bowls look like a foggy witches’ brew using dry ice, Noble says that concoction can be hazardous. He says swallowing dry ice can burn your mouth and throat. She says it’s not a problem to have dry ice in the punch as long as it doesn’t get into the drinks. Also, she says not to touch dry ice with your bare skin as it can cause a burn much like frostbite. Noble says in the quest for the perfect costume, some Iowans will be coloring their hair black, white, red or another hue. That process, too, demands patience and caution. Home food colorings are not recommended as they can tint the skin and the hair and may not wash out easily. Store-bought hair colorings, both liquid and spray on, can also be a problem if the hair hangs down and gets in a person’s eyes. For questions or concerns, the Poison Control Center hotline is: 800-222-1222. It’s based in Sioux City and is staffed round-the-clock. Last year, the center logged 35-thousand calls from Iowans.
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