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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Brenner Children’s pediatric emergency department has moved back to its original location. Learn more

In order to help protect patients, family members and health care workers from the spread of COVID-19, no visitors are allowed at any of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s outpatient or inpatient facilities, except in certain situations.
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First Aid: Poisoning

First Aid: Poisoning

First Aid

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

  • drowsiness
  • sudden change in behavior
  • unusual odor
  • pill fragments on the lips or clothes
  • excessive drooling
  • vomiting
  • a confused mental state
  • listlessness

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

If:

  • 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.

Think Prevention!

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.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014