First Aid: Poisoning
Most childhood poisonings happen in the home. They usually can be treated at home with advice from the poison control center. But 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 pieces on the lips or clothes
- heavy drooling
What to Do
- If you think 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).
Get Emergency Medical Care or Call 911 if:
- Your child has taken a poison and isn't acting normally. It's important to bring the bottle or container of the pills or liquid that your child took. Don't 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 remote controls) safely. 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: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: July 2018