Information you need in a poison emergency
You and your son are outside playing with a ball. As you turn to grab the ball, your son puts a berry from the holly bush in his mouth. Racing to take it out of his mouth, you immediately begin questioning if the plant is poisonous and what steps you should take next to ensure your son’s safety.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), poison can be anything someone eats, breathes or gets in the eyes or on the skin that can cause sickness or death. Children under the age of five are the most susceptible to poison. They make up about 65 percent of all poison exposures.
Shockingly, many people today still aren’t sure when they should contact a poison control center, nor do they have the number for poison control – thus wasting valuable time.
Some obvious forms of poison are:
- Household cleaning products.
- Air fresheners.
- Insect and rodent poison.
- Paint and paint thinner.
Some poisonous items may seem harmless, such as products used for health and beauty purposes. Products meant for good, which can be poisonous include:
- Cough medicines.
- Topical preparations.
When to call poison control
The AAPCC supports the nation’s 55 poison centers in their efforts to prevent and treat poison exposures. You can reach poison control toll free 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-222-1222. Save this number in your phone, post it in your kitchen and near your medicine cabinet.
- If you suspect someone has ingested poison, you should contact poison control right away. When in doubt, make the call.
- Don’t wait for symptoms to occur, especially children.
- Don’t call your doctor first; your first approach should be poison control directly.
- If the symptoms worsen or the person is not breathing, unresponsive or having seizures, call 911 immediately.
- Never leave dangerous products unattended, opened or unsealed.
- Keep products or medications locked up and out of the reach of children.
- Keep medications and household products in containers with child-resistant caps.
- Store products in their original containers and in high-to-reach places on shelves.
- Never call medicine “candy.”
If you’re concerned someone may be poisoned, don’t hesitate to call poison control. Experts can provide medical advice and information that is crucial to saving lives. When in doubt, call poison control at 1-800-222-1222 and visit www.aapcc.org for additional information.
Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center employs a staff of emergency-trained physicians who can provide urgent medical care for you and your family. Visit our walk-in clinics in Little Rock, Arkansas or Shreveport and Natchitoches, Louisiana for emergency care as well as for checkups and other health care needs.
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This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional. If reading after hours, one option for treatment is to seek an urgent care or walk-in clinic for medical advice.