First Aid: Poisoning
Nearly 90% of childhood poisonings happen in the home and most can be treated at home with advice from the poison control center. However, it’s important to know when a poisoning is serious enough to need medical treatment.
Signs and Symptoms
- sudden change in behavior
- unusual odor
- pill fragments on the lips or clothes
- excessive drooling
- a confused mental state
What to Do
- If you suspect that your child has taken a poison and he or she is alert, contact your local poison control center right away for advice (1-800-222-1222).
Seek Emergency Medical Care or Call 911
- your child has taken a poison and has a change in mental state. It’s important to remember to bring the specific bottle or container of the substance that your child ingested. Do not give a child ipecac.
To help prevent poisoning:
- Keep medicines in locked cabinets.
- Keep cleaning products and alcohol in locked cabinets or far out of reach.
- Discard (or recycle) used button cell batteries (like those in watches) safely and store unused ones far from children’s reach.
- Never tell a child that medicine tastes like candy.
- Never put cleaning products in containers that were once used for food or drink.
- Never put rodent poison on the floor.
- Last Reviewed: April 14th, 2014
- Reviewed By: Steven Dowshen, MD
This website informs parents about inhalant use and what they can do if they suspect their teens are abusing inhalants.
The American Red Cross helps prepare communities for emergencies and works to keep people safe every day. The website has information on first aid, safety, and more.
Use this toll-free number to reach any of the United States’ 65 local poison control centers – (800) 222-1222 – or visit the website to find the poison control center nearest you.
The EPA is the government agency that works to protect human health and safeguard the natural environment.