Because small children like to put things in their mouths, about 80%
of poisonings occur in children ages 1 to 4. Always believe a child who says
that something poisonous has been swallowed, no matter how unappetizing the
substance may seem. It is better to take action, even if it turns out to be a
If you believe something poisonous has been swallowed, call your
local poison control center or the National Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222)
immediately for advice. Have the poison container or plant specimen with you
when you make the call. Do not use syrup of ipecac. It
is no longer used to treat poisonings. Some swallowed poisons will cause more
damage if you try to cause vomiting.
If you have syrup of ipecac in your home, call your pharmacist for instructions on how to dispose of it
and throw away the container. Do not store anything else in the container.
Develop prevention habits to help prevent poisonings in your
Never leave a poisonous product unattended, even
for a moment. Many poisonings occur when an adult who is using a poisonous
product becomes distracted by the doorbell, a telephone, or some other
Use childproof latches on your
Keep products in their original containers. Never store
poisonous products in food containers.
Never leave alcohol within sight
or reach of a child.
Read product labels for caution statements,
how to use the product correctly, and first aid instructions.
the number of your local poison control center or the National Poison Control
Hotline (1-800-222-1222) near your phone.
Talk with your doctor about including
activated charcoal as part of your first aid supplies
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.