Every day in this
country over a thousand children swallow poisonous material and, of these, at least one
dies. The vast majority of these accidents involve children less than 5 years old and
occur in their own homes. This is a tragedy because most of these events could be
- Insist on child proof caps
for all your prescription drugs and USE THEM.
- Keep all medicines,
household cleaners, paints and other chemicals well secured - this means out of
both reach and sight at least, and preferably under lock & key.
- Be particularly vigilant
when using or working with such materials. We always hear "I just left it there for a minute!"
- Never refer to medication as
"juice" or "candy".
- Do NOT rely on cabinet
latches that bill themselves as "child proof" - they are not.
child has swallowed a poison:
- Quickly determine as best
possible WHAT you think was taken, approximately WHEN this occurred, and HOW MUCH is the largest conceivable amount that
could have been swallowed.
- If the child is unconscious,
disoriented, lethargic, OR is having any difficulty breathing, IMMEDIATELY call 9-1-1 for an ambulance.
After stabilization at
a local hospital, you should insist that your child be transferred to Childrens
where we can become involved.
- If the child is awake, alert, and
breathing normally, IMMEDIATELY call the
Poison Control Hotline,
1-800-222-1222 - for instructions (this number has changed - it is
now the same nationwide and will connect you to the local Poison Control
- DO NOT try to induce vomiting by
any means. Syrup of Ipecac for this purpose is no longer
- If told by Poison Control to seek
immediate medical attention, but your child does not meet the above criteria for calling an ambulance, call
our office. If it is after hours, page
the provider on call. DO NOT go to the local ER.