Poisoning in Children
Prevention of poisoning is the best method of treating poisoning. Your child can be poisoned by swallowing, injecting, breathing in, or after being exposed to a poisonous substance. In treatment of poisoning, speed is crucial, but it is important to take the right action as well.
If your child suddenly becomes sick for no obvious reason, suspect poisoning. In case of poisoning it is important to determine
- What your child was exposed to.
- Which part of the body was affected.
At times, symptoms of poisoning may take time before it develops. However, if you suspect poisoning do not wait for symptoms to appear before consulting a doctor. In case your child is unconscious, or is having trouble breathing, or convulsions, give first aid without delay. First aid in poisoning before actual medical help can save your child’s life.
In case of poisoning, before you start first aid inform someone and call your local drug information center for advice.
First aid for poisoning by swallowing
- Check your child for signs of circulation such as breathing, movement, pulse, movement. If signs of circulation are not present, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately.
- Try to identify the poison.
- Do not induce vomiting.
- If your child vomits try to protect the airway. Clean your child’s mouth and throat with a cloth wrapped around your fingers.
- Seek medical help as soon as possible. While waiting for medical help position your child on his or her left side.
- If poison has soiled clothes or skin, remove the clothes and wash the skin with water.
First aid for inhalation poisoning
- Rescue your child from danger of the gas, fumes, or smoke only if it is safe for you to go there. If possible, open windows and doors to clear out the fumes.
- Check your child for signs of circulation such as breathing, movement, pulse, movement. If signs of circulation are not present start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately.
- Give first aid for as necessary for burns, eye injuries, or convulsions.
- If the child vomits, protect his or her airway and clean your child’s mouth and throat with a cloth wrapped around your fingers.
Even if your child appears perfectly fine, consult a doctor. However, make sure you
- DO NOT give an unconscious child anything by orally.
- DO NOT try to induce vomiting. Induce vomiting, only if you are advised to do so by your doctor.
- DO NOT give things such as lemon juice or vinegar, or any other substance to neutralize the poison, unless advised by your doctor.
- DO NOT give some “cure-all” sort of antidote.
- DO NOT wait for symptoms to appear if you suspect poisoning.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jan 31, 2013
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