Decline in calls to Poison Control Hotline worries Texas Panhand - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Decline in calls to Poison Control Hotline worries Texas Panhandle Poison Center

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Amarillo, TX - When a child swallows something which may be poisonous, the first thing a parent should do is contact the Poison Control Center.

But the Center says for some reason this is not happening.

The Texas Panhandle Poison Center says they may be seeing fewer calls because more people may be turning to the internet for help.

But one local mother says she is glad she chose to call the Poison Center over going online when her son needed help.

"My son, Cannon, was about one and half," said Chelsea Munkres is a mother who had to call Poison Control for her son.

When Chelsea Munkres stepped out of the laundry room for a moment and came back to Cannon sitting next to the laundry detergent.

"He had the scoop and it was to his mouth, and I didn't know how much he had eaten," Munkres said. "Basically the main thing that went through my head was oh no, he just ingested something that you're not supposed to ingest, what's going to happen," Munkres said.

So Munkres called the Poison Control Hotline and was immediately connected with someone who was able to help her.

However the Texas Panhandle Poison Center says they are seeing  fewer people like Munkres calling their Hotline because...

"We have a pretty good idea that people are turning to Google, and the internet for their answers, when they have a poison question or when someone's been poisoned," said Ronica Farrar who works for the Texas Panhandle Poison Center.

And they say is not the best idea....

"I've seen lots of information on the internet, poison information that we would consider inaccurate or inappropriate," Farrar said.

As for Munkres... she agrees.

"Google can't talk to me and determine some of those things and determine how risky the situation was, but the Poison Control Center was able to ask me those specific questions," said Munkres. "We were able to work together to figure out how risky of a situation I guess it was."

The Poison Center says their Hotline should be as familiar to you as dialing 9-1-1, and if you can not remember the number, just put it in your phone.

The Hotline number is 1-800-222-1222.