Childhood Poisoning: What You Need to Know
Make sure to call your local Poison Control Center if:
- Clothing has been contaminated by a toxin. Remove the poison by putting on gloves to protect yourself.
- The eyes or skin have come in contact with a poisonous substance. Flush the affected area with lukewarm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Use warm soapy water on skin; ask your child to continually blink if you are rinsing an eye.
- Your child has breathed in a suspected poisonous fume. Immediately move her to fresh air or open doors and windows.
If your child does not display any severe symptoms, it is still a good idea to call the Poison Control Center or your pediatrician and find out how best to proceed. Be prepared to calmly relate, in as much detail as possible, what you think happened or what you saw ("I think my child swallowed some bleach. I don't think it could have been more than a teaspoonful.").
Here's what you'll need to do next:
- Give your child's weight, age, and any other medical condition the dispatcher needs to know.
- Keep the container or other offending material with you while you are on the telephone. You may need to read ingredients or describe a smell, color, texture, etc.
- Follow the directions given to you by the dispatcher exactly.
- Ask how long it should take to see an improvement in your child. If there is no change in your child's condition within the allotted time, call back or get the child to the emergency room.