Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Find us on Pinterest

Tiki Torch Safety
You're hosting a barbecue this 4th of July or hanging out outdoors with your friends and family and you see your little one drink some tiki torch fluid. Is this dangerous?
Drinking tiki torch fluid is very dangerous. The same is true of other petroleum-based liquids (hydrocarbons) like gasoline, kerosene, paint thinner, baby oil, lamp oil, furniture polish, charcoal lighter fluid, etc. When swallowed, these and other hydrocarbons can easily go down the wrong way and get into your lungs. Even a small amount can cause a chemical pneumonia. The liquid also spreads out over the inner surface of your lungs, preventing oxygen from entering your blood stream. Tiki torch fluid and other hydrocarbons MUST be stored in their original child-resistant containers, locked out of sight and reach of children. When you use these products, do not put them down where children can reach them; immediately lock them away when you're done. If someone has swallowed tiki torch fluid or any other possible poison, call us right away at
right away.
Case #1
The Texas Poison Center Network received  a call from a 35 yr old male who, while opening the chlorine powder to put in his pool, took a whiff of the chlorine gas accumulated in the container. He stated that he had been coughing for about 5 minutes and had a burning sensation in the lungs. The poison specialist recommended he take a hot shower to help relieve the burning sensation and coughing. He recommended that if the symptoms did not improve within the hour to call us back. During the follow up call an hour later, the patient was feeling better. He still had a bit of a cough but much better than initially.
After the second follow up call 3 hours later, the patient was feeling fine and the cough was all gone.
Case #2
A call came into our poison help line from a mother of a 2 year old boy that might have taken a drink from the tiki torch fuel they were using in their back yard. After several questions and since the boy was coughing, the specialist instructed the mother to take the boy to the emergency room for observation and a possible chest x-ray. During the follow up with the hospital staff, the patient was doing better and after a few hours of observation and a negative x-ray, the patient was sent home.
Para español,   oprima aquí
July 2019 Newsletter

Swimming Season Tips

S wimming pools are a great way to escape the Texas summer heat and with school out, kids are excited about going swimming! The Texas Poison Center receives calls every year related to pool chemicals. 

Pool chemicals are added to the water to kill germs and help it look clean.  You may be most familiar with the chlorine that's used in pools. However, many other household products also contain chlorine. 

A few common household products and substances that contain chlorine include:
  • chlorine tablets used in swimming pools
  • swimming pool water
  • mild household cleaners
  • disinfectant sprays/wipes
  • bleach products
 Chlorine is  used to disinfect swimming pool and drinking water.  
The chlorine that is used in pools usually comes in tablet or powder form. Chlorine poisoning can occur when you touch, swallow, or inhale chlorine. If the dust from these chemicals is inhaled, which often occurs when the container is first opened, coughing and shortness of breath can result. The dust or vapors also can cause skin rashes as well as be an irritant to the eye, creating itching, stinging and watering. Individuals who have asthma are especially sensitive to this dust. When opening the lid on a pool chemical, make certain you are in a well-ventilated area and turn your face to one side or point the container away from you. Be cautious if opening the lid on a windy day as the dust or vapors may blow into your face.

Follow these simple and effective steps to prevent pool chemical injuries:
  • Read and follow directions on product labels.
  • Wear appropriate safety equipment, such as goggles and masks, as directed, when handling pool chemicals.
  • Secure pool chemicals to protect people and animals.
    • Keep young children away when handling chemicals.
  • NEVER mix different pool chemicals with each other, especially chlorine products with acid.
  • Pre-dissolve pool chemicals ONLY when directed by product label.
  • Add pool chemicals to water, NEVER water to any pool chemical.
During or immediately after exposure to dangerous concentrations of chlorine, the following signs and symptoms may develop:
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning pain, redness, and blisters on the skin if exposed to gas. Skin injuries similar to frostbite can occur if it is exposed to liquid chlorine
  • Burning sensation in the nose, throat, and eyes
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. These may appear immediately if high concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled or they may be delayed if low concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled.
  • Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) that may be delayed for a few hours
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing   

What should you do if you or someone else is exposed to chlorine? 


  • If chemical comes in contact with eyes
    • Flush eyes with running water
    • Call the Poison Center
  • If chemical comes in contact with skin:
    • Remove any contaminated clothing
    • Flush skin with running water
    • Call the Poison Center
  • If victim has difficulty breathing:
    • Move victim to fresh air.
    • Call 9-1-1

For questions or concerns, call the Texas Poison Center Network experts at  1-800-222-1222.  

Want more poison information???
Don't forget to check out the Texas Poison Center Network's blog !