Accidental Poisoning
Rendering First Aid To The Victim

More than 90 percent of all accidental poisonings occur in the home. And while anyone can become a victim, children are the most vulnerable since they are smaller, have faster metabolic rate, and their body are less able to handle toxic material.

Causes of Poisoning Since the majority of poison incidents occur at home, the causes of poison are also found in the home. Here are the most common things that can cause accidental poisoning when used improperly:

  • Plants
  • Cleaning solutions
  • Insecticides and pesticides
  • Cosmetics, Drugs and medications
  • Solvents
  • Paints
  • What to Do When Accidental Poisoning Occurs

    Poison is swallowed

    If it is a child, take away the substance immediately. If the poison is still in the mouth ask the victim to spit it out or remove the substance using your finger. Instructions on packages "in case of poisoning" often tell you to induce vomiting. Do not follow this without first consulting your physician.

    Where and when to seek help

    If the person is showing symptoms such as unusual drooling, blistering and burning on the lips and mouth, unconsciousness or seizure, sore throat, irritability, nausea, and trouble breathing, call 911 right away. If it is a child, watch out for other signs such as jumpiness, unusual stain on the clothes, and strange odor from the mouth.

    If the victim doesn't show any of the above signs, call your physician or your local poison control center. Be ready to give the victim's personal information as well as the information about the substance.

    Poison in the eye

    Rinse the affected with lukewarm (not hot) water. Make sure that you hold the eyelid open while continuously pouring a steady stream of water for at least 15 minutes. A child is more difficult to hold while rinsing the eye so you may need another person to assist you. Never use eyedrops, eyecup, or ointments unless instructed by the poison center. Call a physician for professional assistance.

    Poisonous gases or fumes are inhaled

    Solvents and cleaners, kerosene, wood, or coal stoves that didn't turn on, leaky gas vent, a car running in a closed garage and a mixture of ammonia and bleach are all sources of poisonous fumes. If any of these is inhaled, go to an area where fresh air is available.

    If someone has inhaled noxious fumes for quite a while and is having difficulty breathing, take him or her out for fresh air and call your EMS (local emergency service) or dial 911. If the victim is breathing normally, call the poison center to receive proper instructions on how to give the right treatment. If the victim has stopped breathing, ask someone to call 911 and start CPR. Do not stop until the person breathes on his/her own or if someone else takes over. If there is no other person in the place except you, perform CPR for 1 minute and then dial 911.

    Poison on the skin

    Poisonous chemicals when spilled on the body can be painful, itchy as well as burn, and induce allergic reaction. If this happens, remove the clothes and thoroughly rinse the skin with lukewarm water.

    Prevention of Accidental Poisoning

  • Do not store poisonous materials alongside your food.
  • Keep poisonous materials away from reach of children.
  • Label hazardous chemicals clearly and store it in a separate and locked compartment.

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