Accidental poisoning is most common in young children between the ages one and three. As our children’s curiosity grows, they begin to explore their home environment, imitate what adults do (including taking medication) and put things in their mouth, as part of their natural development. Unfortunately, due to this, accidental poisoning can unfortunately occur.
Many average household products can be potentially harmful to children, and these poisons can be swallowed, spilt on the skin, sprayed, splashed in the eye or inhaled. Common poisonous items found in our homes include medicines, cleaning products, dishwasher powder, fertilisers, pesticides, bleaches and cosmetics.
Most poisonings occur in the family home or when visiting friends or family, and parents should take this as a severe medical emergency. Signs and symptoms parents should keep an eye out for are vomiting, nausea, drowsiness and seizures.
We urge all parents who suspect their child to be poisoned to contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 immediately. The staff will instruct you to render further first aid for the particular poison your child has induced; so be sure to pick up the product container and take it to you to the phone! Please note that under no circumstances are you to cause your child to vomit.
To reduce the risk of poisoning for your child remember to:
• Store all poisonous products and medicines out of sight and reach of children in a lockable cupboard • Keep record of your child’s medication dosages using the Tiny Hearts App or pen and paper
• Do not refer to medicines as lollies, call them by their proper names
• Dispose of unnecessary poisons and medications safely and as soon as possible
• Do not put poisons in recognisable containers such as coke bottles etc.
To learn more about prevention and treatment of accidental poisoning, please register for your nearest Tiny Hearts First Aid course at www.tinyheartsfirstaid.com
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