Many children unintentionally swallow, drink or eat poisonous products when they mistake them for edible foodstuff. What do you do if your child ingests poison?

There are other ways poison can also enter a childs body, such as by breathing, injection, venomous bites or stings, or touching enough of a substance that could cause illness or death.

Babies naturally explore their new world by putting everything they can into their mouths. This is how they learn.

Young children are also still exploring and experiment by tasting all sorts.

There are very real risks for your child by picking up and tasting poisonous substances. If you suspect your baby has swallowed poison – don’t wait for a reaction – it may be slow. Act immediately.

What to do if your child ingests poison

Symptoms if your child has ingested poison:

  1. Difficulty breathing.
  2. Unusual sleepiness.
  3. Convulsions.
  4. Severe throat pain.
  5. Burns on the lips or mouth.
  6. Unconsciousness.

What to do if your child ingests poison:

  1. Get your baby away from the rest of the poison.
  2. Try to get any remaining poison out of your baby’s mouth.
  3. Call an ambulance and say clearly your baby/child has ingested poison.
  4. Call the POISONS INFORMATION HELPLINE (24HRS) – 0861-555-777
  5. Do not try to make them vomit since the poison will burn the throat and mouth again.
  6. Take the poison with you so it can be identified at the hospital’s Emergency Room.
What to do if your child ingests poison

Some dangerous substances take a while to take effect.

Don’t assume that your child is OK because there hasn’t been a reaction to ingesting poison yet. Note an overdose of paracetamol should be considered as a potential poisoning.

If your child doesn’t have any of the serious symptoms listed above, call your poison control center – POISONS INFORMATION HELPLINE (24HRS) – 0861 555 777.

Experts at the poison center will need to know:

Your child’s approximate weight.
Any medical conditions.
Any medications they are taking.
A description of the poison.

If you suspect your baby has ingested poison, call an ambulance.

Try to identify the poison.
DO NOT try to make your baby vomit.
Administer CPR if baby stops breathing.

The best way to learn about baby first aid is by doing a first aid course or watch St John Ambulance online videos in child safety and first aid.

What to do if your child ingests poison

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While these products should still be kept away from your children and never be ingested, they offer less toxic detergents.

Click the link to go straight to the Paediatric Poisons Information Centre

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