From cleaning solutions to snake bites, poisoning can cause serious injury or even death. While many substances are only poisonous in higher concentrations, others are dangerous if ingested. Kids are especially sensitive to even small amounts of some poisonous substances.
In this blog post we’ll share some tips from the Mayo Clinic for what to do when you suspect poisoning and how to treat it. If you are concerned or unsure what to do next, you can always call the Poison Help hotline at 800-222-1222.
Things that don’t immediately appear to be dangerous can have harmful effects. For example, swallowed button batteries can burn through a child’s esophagus in less than two hours. (If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, take the child to the emergency room immediately.) A houseplant or bottle of perfume can also cause harm if ingested. Young children in particular tend to pick up items that look like candy, such as dishwasher pods or brightly colored pills.
Here are signs and symptoms to look out if you suspect poisoning:
- Breath that smells like chemicals (for example, gasoline)
- Burns or redness around mouth and lips
- Difficulty breathing
You may be able to rapidly identify the source of the poison due to a pill bottle or another clue. The Mayo Clinic directs you to call 911 immediately if the person you suspect of being poisoned is drowsy, unconscious, having seizures, having trouble breathing, or know to have taken medications or any other substance that could have caused an overdose. You can call Poison Help if the person is stable/has no symptoms or is going to be transported to the local emergency room.
You’ll need to describe the affected individual’s symptoms, age, weight, any medications that are being taken, and any information you have about the poison.
While you’re waiting for medical assistance, there are a few different actions you can take depending on the type of poisoning. For swallowed poison, remove anything remaining in the person’s mouth. If a chemical was ingested, check the container’s label for further instructions. For poison on the skin, remove contaminated clothing while wearing gloves and rinse the skin for 15-20 minutes in a shower or with a hose. If there is poison in the eye, gently flush with cool or lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes/until help arrives. If the person vomits, turn their head to the side to prevent choking. Begin CPR if necessary.
The Mayo Clinic advises against administering syrup of ipecac or doing anything to induce vomiting.
If your child has been injured due to poisoning, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.