Written by Dr. Chetan Ginigeri
Accidental poisoning is a situation where one can get themselves poisoned. Babies are more often prone to accidental poisoning. Accidental poisoning in babies is not rare because they are fond of putting anything and everything they get directly in their mouths as they are not aware of the consequences of it. Strangely, almost 70-80% of child poisoning cases happen when the child is a year old till four years or so. It is very vital for the parents to be aware of such situations and prevent the baby from consuming or ingesting the poison as it can be harmful to the baby.
Babies love exploring and experimenting with their surroundings and they are bound to get into trouble. As parents, we should do a check and ensure there are no poisonous objects around, any sharp ones as well. There can be still many other household objects which can be harmful. So, it is important to get a know-how of such objects and dangerous goods and keep them away from the reach of the baby.
In This Article
Poisonous items are present all over the house, from cosmetics to fertilizers to sprays among others. These are not poisonous in the literal sense, but if taken in excess quantity can be hazardous. Medications are one of the most common items that are picked up by a baby while exploring. It is important to throw all expired medicines and labels and keep the ones to be used away from the vision of the baby.
You would be surprised to know that there are many things found in almost all households that are dangerous if consumed by a baby. These are commonplace items that one cannot do without but they pose a great threat to the baby. Parents should be alert to items in the home that can pose danger.
Here is a list of items that can prove dangerous for your little one:
Burning pain or blistering around his or her mouth with or without stains can appear if your little one swallowed something acidic (like bleach or other cleaning fluid). Poisoning is harmful to all and, most importantly, for the baby, so any unexpected ailments in the baby could indicate that he has ingested or swallowed poison.
As a parent, one must take the utmost care and look out for any signs which are sudden and disturbing for the baby. In case there is a doubt that the baby has ingested or swallowed a harmful thing, keep a tab on the symptoms below and seek immediate medical help.
Ingesting or swallowing poison by the baby could be life-threatening, as well. In many cases, an infant can unknowingly consume poison without knowing how dangerous it is for them. If your baby has accidentally taken in poison, there are some very important steps that should be taken to keep the baby safe :
Look for any open or empty container of a toxic substance in their possession. If you find that they have accidentally poisoned themselves, do not panic. But remember that you will have to act swiftly and take the following steps.
When your baby spills a chemical on themselves, you should take the following steps:
When poison gets into the baby’s eyes, you should take the following steps:
The following should be done if your infant breathes in gas or fumes:
Take your baby immediately to the nearby hospital, which has an accident and emergency unit if he or she swallowed:
Poisoning in babies happens in different forms. It could be sprayed, splashed in the eye, could have come in touch with the skin, inhaled, ingested, swallowed. Babies generally accidentally poison themselves when they are at home, but this can also happen during an outing.
It has been seen that most of the time, parents, despite being careful, do leave poisonous substances or toxic substances well within sight of the baby. It is thus important to keep a checklist ready for all the stuff available in the house and label dangerous items. Hazardous items must be secured away safely from the reach of babies.
Some other preventive steps that can be taken are as below:
As babies grow, exploration and experimentation become their new toys. They try to fiddle with whatever they find interesting without understanding the consequences and dangers of accidental poisoning. It is the duty of the adult, parent, or guardian to ensure the safety of the baby and take all necessary precautions to keep dangerous material away from the baby’s reach.
A glass of milk is not an antidote or remedy for poisons and does not protect the stomach from ingested chemicals or toxins. Milk does no more work than water when given after ingesting poison.
It depends on the type of poison the baby is exposed to. Symptoms of some types of poisonings may appear instantly, however, some act so slowly that 7 to 12 hours might pass before a first symptom appears.
Dr Chetan Ginigeri is an experienced Pediatric Intensivist with national and international training. With 15 years of experience, he is one among very few Intensivists in India trained to take care of children who need/had organ transplants. He has been responsible for coordinating the Pediatric Organ Transplant program.Read more.
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