Poisoning in children is a major cause of illness. 90% of poisoning cases occur at home. Toddlers are at higher risk for poisoning as their natural exploring and curiosity behaviour may result in ingestion.
Common sources of poisons in the household :
- Kerosene and hydrocarbon (petrol)
- Prescribed medicine
- Insecticides, herbicides and pesticides
- Detergents, polishes and caustics
What to do if your child has had contact with poisons?
- Remove poisons from eyes, skin and mouth.
- Always keep National Poison Centre telephone number (04-6570099) in a readily accessible place e.g. on fridge door.
- Gently wash eyes with plenty of tap water for at least 5 minutes with the eyelids held open.
- Do not allow your child to rub the affected eye(s) .
- Wash the poison off the skin with large volumes of water.
- Remove contaminated clothing.
- Remove all tablets or powder from the child’s mouth.
- Examine for any burns, cuts or irritation.
If exposed to gases or fumes :
- Get child to fresh air.
- Loosen all clothing.
- If not breathing, clear the throat and start mouth-to- mouth respiration (CPR). Continue until help arrives.
- If poison was ingested, go to the nearest hospital.
- Do not induce vomiting in kerosene/ strong acid / alkali poisoning, and if patient is unconscious or having a fit.
- Keep the child in a sideway position and clear all secretions from the mouth.
- Take the child to the hospital with a sample of the poison.
- Supervise your children.
- Keep medication / alcohol out of sight and out of reach of children.
- Keep medication in child-resistant and labelled containers.
- Give the right dose of medication.
- Unused medication should be disposed off, thrown down the sink, buried or burnt.
- Handle food with care – always wash hands before handling food, cook raw meats and eggs and rinse fruits and vegetables.
- Educate your children regarding safety basics.
- Avoid storing poisons in used ‘carbonated drinks’ bottles as children may mistake it for drinks.
National Poison Center
University Sains Malaysia
11800 Pulau Pinang
Tel : 04-6570099
Fax : 04-6568417
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
|Last reviewed||:||26 April 2012|
|Content Writer||:||Dr. Norraliza Md Zain|
|Reviewer||:||Dr. Sharifah Ainon bt. Ismail Mokhtar|