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Protect your child from poisoning


"Children Act Fast - So Do Poisons!"

Children learn by putting things into their mouth and tasting things. They also copy adults without knowing what they are doing.

The best way to avoid poisoning is to lock up all toxic substances where your child does not have access to them. Also watch your child more closely whenever you are in a different environment. Be especially careful when your child is visiting another home.

  • Keep all drugs, medications, household cleaning products, garden products, multivitamins, cosmetics and batteries locked up, out of your child's reach
  • NEVER keep old medicines in the house, return them to any pharmacy for safe disposal.
  • Use safety latches on drawers and cupboards that contain objects that might be dangerous to your child.
  • All products should be kept in their original containers, for easy identification - NEVER store household products in drinks bottles.
  • Never say that medicine is candy to get your child to take it.
  • Post the hospital and other emergency numbers near every telephone in your home. Be sure that your housemaid / baby-sitter knows how to call these numbers.

Treatment

Swallowed Poison

If you find your child with an open or empty container of an unknown substance, your child may have been poisoned. Stay calm and act quickly.

First, get the poison away from the child. If there is still some in your child's mouth, make him spit it out, or remove it with your fingers. Keep this material along with any other evidence (such as vomit) that might help determine what was swallowed.

Next check for the following signs:

  • Severe throat pain
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Sudden behavior changes, such as unusual sleepiness, irritability, or jumpiness
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach cramps without fever
  • Burns on your child's lips or mouth
  • Unusual drooling or odd odors on your child's breath
  • Unexplained stains on your child's clothing
  • Convulsions or unconsciousness (only in very serious cases)

If your child has any of the above signs dial Police/Ambulance right away. Note the time that the child ingested the poison and the time that any vomiting occurs.

  • TAKE THE CONTAINER WITH YOU to help the doctor determine what was swallowed
  • Give the child water or milk to drink, DO NOT MAKE THE CHILD VOMIT as this may cause further damage
  • Do not follow instructions about poisoning on the label of the container, as these are often out of date

If your child does not have these symptoms, call your pediatrician or pediatric ER by dialing 1830003, extension 1043 or 1013 for further advice. If the poison is dangerous, or if the child is very young you will be advised to take the child to the nearest hospital, otherwise you will be given instructions to follow at home.

Please note that this information is not to be used as a substitute for medical care and advice from your doctor or pediatrician. There may be variations on treatment and advice based on individual circumstances.

Substance On The Skin

If your child spills dangerous chemicals on his/her body, remove the clothes and rinse the skin with lukewarm - not hot - water. If the area shows signs of being burnt, continue rinsing for at least 15 minutes, no matter how much your child may protest. Then call the Emergency Room by dialing 1830003, extension 1043 or 1013 for further advice. Do not apply ointments, grease or butter.

Substance In The Eye

Flush the child's eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of lukewarm water into the inner corner. A young child is sure to object to this, so get another adult to hold your child while you rinse the eye, alternatively, wrap your child tightly in a towel and clamp him under one arm. This way you will have one hand free to hold the eyelid open, and the other to pour in the lukewarm water. Continue flushing the eye for 15 minutes. Then call ER (1830003) for further instructions. Do not use an eyecup, eye-drops, or ointment unless the doctor tells you to do so.

Common Household Poisons
Acids Aerosol Cans Ammonia Antiseptics Antifreeze
Automotive Products Bleach Bubble Bath Batteries Charcoal Starting Fluid
Colognes Cosmetics Dish Detergents Drain Cleaners Epoxy Glues
Furniture Polish Garden Sprays Gun Cleaners Hair Dyes Iodine
Insulation Jewelry Cleaner Kerosene Lamp Oil Laundry Detergents
Lye Metal Cleaners Moth Balls Nail Polish / Remover Oven Cleaner
Paint Permanent Wave Solution Peroxides Pesticides/Herbicides Perfumes
Pet Food Petroleum Products Pine Oil Plant Food Rodent Poison
Shampoo Shaving Lotion Toilet-bowl Cleaner Turpentine Weed Killers
Window Cleaner Wood Preservatives      

Please call the Pediatric Emergency on 1830003/22232000 Ext. 1043 for any questions or concerns.