Children Poisoning

The importance of child prevention when it comes to poison control.

Young children are known for exploring vigilantly with their mouths. They don't know the difference between what is good for them or bad, leaving the parent or caregiver the dutiful task of keeping the house safe and secure.

There are many different types of poisoning. All are accidental and some do not have an immediate affect on a child. The following are some technical terms that describe the different types of poisonings.

An ingestion is when a child ingests something that isn't poisonous in a normal dosage, but is highly poisonous in larger doses. Some examples of this may be vitamins, medications, lead, or pesticides.

Acute caustic poisoning is when a child swallows something that burns the inside of his mouth and throat.

Acute pesticidal poisoning is when the child ingests poison meant to kill pests.

Acute inhaled poisoning is something a child has inhaled, such as pesticides or carbon monoxide.

Chronic ingestion is when a child gets hold of some medications or vitamins in larger doses than intended. This type of poisoning spans over a large period of time.

Chronic poisoning is when a child is slowly poisoned with small amounts of a toxic waste such as lead.

Sometimes a poisoning can be hard to discover. If you suspect a child has been poisoned there are several things you can do to help the situation.

Find out what your child has been poisoned with. This doesn't have to be any of the mentioned examples above. He or she could have gotten into laundry detergent, cleaners or the like. You will need to get medical assistance immediately. Call 911 if your child is having trouble breathing or looks sleepy or lethargic. If your child is calm and seems okay, call poison control for further instructions. Have the poison that is suspected in making your child ill in your hand. You may be instructed to read the label and asked to estimate how much of the given toxin your child ingested. Know the child's weight and age and his or her current state. Get specified instructions from the proper personnel on what you should do. Be prepared to start CPR if need be. Do not force the child to vomit unless told to do so by a professional. Some poisons can burn the inside linings of the stomach, throat and mouth and will do more damage if you try to induce vomiting. If you are advised to make the child vomit, use the syrup of Ipecac. This is always recommended to be in your medicine cabinet. And most of all, don't panic.

A good way to prevent poisonings is to be sure to mark all poisonous containers and keep them locked away in childproof cabinets or containers. Keep medicine cabinets locked. Don't let your child believe medicine is candy. Use child proof containers for medicines and never use food containers to store poisons. Always have emergency numbers handy. These would include the doctor and the poison control center.

An ounce of prevention is all it takes to keep your child safe.

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