What to Do if Your Child Ingests a Poison

  • Remain calm. Not all medicines and household chemicals are poisonous, and not all exposures necessarily result in poisoning.
  • For medicines, call the Poison Control Center or physician immediately. For household chemical products, follow first-aid instructions on the label, then call the Poison Control Center or physician. If unable to contact them, call your local emergency number (911 in most areas) or the operator.
  • Keep emergency numbers listed near the phone before an emergency arises. When you contact the Poison Control Center or other emergency personnel, be prepared to give the facts (described below) to the expert on the other end of the phone. Have the label ready when you call the expert. The label provides information concerning the product's contents and advice on what immediate first-aid to perform. Tell the expert:
  • The victim's age.
  • The victim's weight.
  • Existing health conditions or problems.
  • The substance involved and how it contacted the child. For example, was it swallowed, inhaled, absorbed through skin contact, or splashed into the eyes?
  • Any first-aid which may have been given.
  • If the person has vomited.
  • Your location, and how long it will take you to get to the hospital.
  • Do not give anything by mouth until advised by the Poison Control Center.
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