Handling and Preventing Poisoning Emergencies in Children

Inspite your best efforts your child can be faced with poisoning emergency. The most important thing that can help you save your child is how informed you are to handle such situations. Whatever be the kind of emergency, most importantly you have to stay calm, act quickly, and get medical attention as soon as possible. Following points may help in handling and preventing poisoning emergencies in children.

How to handle poisoning

  • Get the poisonous substance away from the baby.
  • Try to clean the baby mouth using your fingers or ask the baby to spit out if he/she is old enough.
  • Keep a sample of the poisonous material with you and show it to the doctor so that the cause of poisoning can be determined and appropriate medicine given.
  • Do not make your child vomit as it may cause more damage.
  • Do not use Ipecac syrup. This was used in past to make the child vomit. If a child is unconscious, not breathing, having convulsions or having seizures, call your local area emergency number right away.
  • If the child spills a dangerous chemical on the skin, remove his clothes and wash in room temperature water for 15 minutes. Do not use any ointment or grease. Get him medical attention as soon as possible.
  • If poison has gone in his eyes, wash eyes thoroughly by holding the eyelid open and poring room temperature water on the inner corner. Do not use an eyecup, eye drops or ointment unless prescribed. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • If your child inhales poisonous fumes, make him inhale fresh air immediately. If the child is not breathing give CPR immediately and do not stop till he starts breathing. Ask someone to call local emergency number else if you are alone then at least give CPR for 1 minute and then call local emergency number.

How to prevent poisoning accidents

  • Always lock cabinets used for medicines, cleaners, wood polish and other poisonous substances.
  • Always use original containers to store poisonous substances so that they are easily identifiable.
  • Child-resistant does not mean child-proof. Child resistant substances are still dangerous and need to be stored in lock.
  • Use toilet flush if possible to discard leftover medicines.
  • Always open the garage door before starting your car.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house.

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