Poisoning in Children: What to do if it happens

St Mark James Training Equipment

Child CPR


Jocelyn was sitting in her study when she suddenly heard silence from her children, who were in the kitchen, followed by a gut wrenching scream. Her blood chilled as she rushed into her kitchen to see the one of her twin sons on floor gripping his stomach as he twisted in pain. On the floor beside him was bottle of household cleaner, her other son kept saying in between his screams, “I told him not to drink it, I told him not to drink it. “  Jocelyn did not panic as her first aid training rushed right back to her, giving her a sense of calm that resonated to her screaming son enough to quiet him down.

Now let me impart this same knowledge to you that kept Jocelyn calm in face of her danger.

Firstly one needs to identify the type of poisoning; there are many types of poisoning based on how they enter the body, below is a table containing examples of each type of poisoning, their symptoms and the treatment plan for each.

Entry   Point into the body Examples Effects Treatment   Plan
Buccal   cavity (ingested) 1)Cleaning   Supplies2)Food

  •   bacterial
  •   viral

3)   Drugs

4)   Poisonous Plants

1)   Vomiting2)   Nausea3)   Pain in Abdomen4)   Seizures

5)   Irregular breathing

6)   Impaired consciousness


1)   If Conscious reassure child             2)   If Unconscious  Perform CPR but first   use protection3)   Call the emergency number4)   Find out what the poison is*   If the person’s lips are burnt they can sip on cold milk or water.


Skin   (absorption) 1)Cleaning   Supplies2)   Industrial Products3)   Poisonous Plants4)Gardening   Supplies 1)Pain2)   Swelling3)   Rash4)   Redness5)   Itching 1)   Remove contaminated clothing2)   Area must be rinsed for few 10 minutes3)   Seek medical assistance4)   CPR if needed
Nasal   cavity ( inhaled) 1)Fire   Fumes2)Industrial   Products3)Cleaning   Product Fumes 1)   Breathing Difficulty2)   Skin Discolouration  (grey/blue)3)   Hypoxia 1)   Allow the child to breathe fresh air2)   Seek medical assistance3)   CPR if needed
Eyes   ( splashed) 1)Cleaning   Supplies2)Industrial   Products3)   Poisonous Plants4)   Gardening Supplies 1)   Pain2)   Eyes Watering3)   Blurry Vision 1)   Rinse (irrigate) the eyes2)Seek   medical assistance3)  CPR if needed
Skin(injected) 1)Drugs2)Bites3)   Venom 1)   Pain2)   Redness3)   Swelling at site4)   Blurry Vision5)   Nausea


7)   Seizures

8)   Breathing Difficulties

9)   Anaphylactic Shock

10)   Impaired Consciousness

1)   DrugsA) Seek medical AssistanceB) CPR if needed2)   Venom/StingA) If possible remove the sting

B) Seek medical assistance

C) CPR if needed


This might seem like a lot of information, but this knowledge could mean the difference between the life and death of a child in your care. If you do not know how to do CPR  you can take CPR classes . One very important thing to remember through all of this is, no matter how serious you think the poisoning is, ALWAYS seek medical assistance. It is never too late to prepare for the future.

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