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CHARLESTON — Sunshine and warm weather mean more people enjoying the outdoors. Following a few safety tips from the West Virginia Poison Center can help keep people poison safe while spending time outside.

Read the directions! A simple but important tip — read the directions on all products. Most products, from insect repellents to pool chemicals, are safe for use if the product directions are followed. If directions are not followed, a product can cause a poisoning.

Store products in their original container. Do not transfer products into food or drink containers. Some poisonous products (torch fuel, gasoline, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid) look like beverages.

Use products only when needed. Using too much of a product or too often is not more helpful, but can be harmful.

Protect your eyes and your lungs. Avoid spraying insect repellent or sunscreen around the face. Do not spray insect repellent or sunscreen on the hands of individuals who may rub their eyes after the product is applied. When opening pool chemicals, outdoor pesticides or fertilizers, make sure the wind is blowing away from your face and not in the path of other people. Never mix products unless instructed to do so on the labeled directions.

Protect your skin. Wear long sleeves and pants when applying outdoor pesticides and fertilizers. After returning inside, wash off any products that may be on the skin.

Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Do not let foods sit out for hours, especially in the heat.

Save the West Virginia Poison Center number — 800-222-1222. If a poisoning occurs, do not wait for symptoms to appear. Call the medical experts at the West Virginia Poison Center 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The West Virginia Poison Center provides emergency poison information, prevention and educational resources to West Virginians. The WVPC is staffed by nurses, pharmacists and physicians with special training in treatment of poisonings. Located in Charleston, the WVPC is a part of the West Virginia University-Charleston Division.

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