Over the past four years, we have posted 99 blogs here at the Maryland Poison Center’s (MPC) eAntidote. This is #100! eAntidote was launched in September 2017 as an educational resource for the 4 million people in the MPC’s service area. Our goal was to provide easy access to important information when it’s most convenient for our readers, meeting you where you are – like waiting in an office or in the school pickup line or while traveling. We aimed to post blogs every month that covered a variety of topics to increase awareness of the MPC and its services and to prevent poisonings.
After four years and more than 4,000 visitors, we use our 100th post to reflect on the 10 most read posts on eAntidote.
1. The Laundry Pod Challenge: Why Teens are Doing It – January 2018
It’s no surprise that a popular internet event led to our most-read blog. In 2017, videos of the laundry pod challenge went viral, spreading widely around the world. Individuals were biting into the colorful squishy pods attempting to eat them. Exposures from swallowing the liquid inside, getting the liquid on your skin, or getting the liquid in your eye can cause unwanted effects.
2. Your Halloween Candy Wasn’t Poisoned– October 2017
Poisoned Halloween candy is a myth! The MPC receives calls about this every Halloween when the urban legend reemerges. Stories of children unexpectedly dying on or after Halloween have parents worried. But investigations almost always reveal another cause of death, such as an infection or heart failure unrelated to the candy.
3. Are Essential Oils Dangerous? – January 2018
This blog was written after our poison specialists were receiving an increase in calls from people using essential oils incorrectly. Essential oils were being used as an alternative to regular medicine in the years just before the blog was published. Since essential oils are made from plants, some people think they won’t cause harm. Essential oils can be dangerous if used in the wrong way, wrong amount, or by the wrong person. They should always be stored up, away, and out of sight of children and pets.
4. Grapefruit Juice and Medicine: What’s the Real Deal? – November 2017
You may see a warning on your prescription label that says not to drink grapefruit juice while taking the medicine. Drinking grapefruit juice while taking certain medicines can cause an interaction. Your health care provider or pharmacist will tell you if you should not drink grapefruit juice or eat a grapefruit while taking a medicine.
5. Maryland Critters that Bite and Sting – June 2020
Maryland is full of native wildlife such as spiders, snakes, and jellyfish. During the warmer months, critters in Maryland are more active, and we receive more calls about them. Some animals bite or sting humans, causing injury. For the most part, these critters won’t bite or sting you if they are left alone. It’s important to know which animals live in Maryland and that other common critters in neighboring states rarely come here.
6. Poison Myths Busted: Something Swallowed? Throw It Up! – February 2018
A common myth we hear at the MPC is that if someone swallows something they shouldn’t have, they should throw it up. We do not recommend making anyone vomit if they swallow a poison. Do not put fingers down their throat or give a home remedy to make someone throw up. Making someone vomit could actually make the situation worse.
7. Poison Safety During the Coronavirus Pandemic – April 2020
Another “no surprise” blog post that was a popular read! The timely topic that affected everyone in some way – COVID-19. Safe use and storage of cleaning products, hand sanitizers, and medicines was important to keep everyone safe.
8. What’s In Your House: Kitchen Edition – January 2020
The first edition of our What’s in Your House blog series covered the kitchen. We discussed how to safely use and store a few common kitchen products. The blog series goes into more detail as Marylanders use our Poison Safety Checklist to check for items in each room of their house that can cause poisonings.
9. Summertime Poisons – July 2019
There are certain poisons and exposures that we hear about during the summer season. People are getting outside more, changing routines while school is out, or travelling, all activities that can increase the risk of a poisoning.
10. What You Should Know About Marijuana (Cannabis) – November 2019
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a drug that has been around for a while but continues to change in how it’s being used. It’s important to know what cannabis is, the effects it can have, and how to safely store it.
Looking forward, we will be celebrating the MPC’s 50th anniversary in 2022! Keep up-to-date with the news and celebrations by visiting eAntidote regularly, subscribing to our Poison Prevention Press e-newsletter, and following us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Thank you to our readers for supporting our first 100 posts. We look forward to the next 100! If you’re looking for posts on certain topics, you can use the tag feature on the right side of the eAntidote homepage to find past posts on that topic.