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March 24th, 2014
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A poison can be described as any substance (solid,liquid or gas) that causes damage when it enters the body in sufficient quantity.

A poison can enter the body in 4 ways, it can be:

  • Ingested - swallowed.

  • Inhaled - breathed in, entering the blood stream very quickly as it passes through the lungs.

  • Absorbed - through the skin.

A poison can either be:

- Corrosive - such as acids, bleach, dishwasher powder, ammonia or petrol

- Non-corrosive - such as tablets, drugs, alcohol, plants or perfumes.

Treatment

For a corrosive substance:

  • Don’t endanger yourself- make sure it’s safe to help.

  • Dilute the substance or wash it away if possible.

                    - Substances on the skin - wash away with water

                    - Swallowed substances - get the child to rinse out their mouth, then give frequent sips of milk or water.

  • Call 999/112 for emergency help.

Give information about the poison if possible and take advice from the ambulance operator.

  • If the child becomes unconscious - open the airway and check for breathing. Resuscitate if necessary. If the child is breathing, place them in recovery position, then call 999/112.

NEVER make the child vomit. This may put the airway in danger!

For a non-corrosive substance:

  • Call 999/112  for emergency help.

Give information about the poison if possible. Take advice from the ambulance operator.

  • If the child becomes unconscious - open the airway and check for breathing. Resuscitate if necessary. If the child is breathing, place them in recovery position, then call 999/112.

DO NOT shout at the child! They won’t tell you what have taken if they feel threatened!

Inhalation of smoke, fumes or other substances:

  • Move the child into fresh air if possible.

  • Check airway and breathing and resuscitate if necessary.

  • If the child is unconscious - place them in the recovery position.

  • Call 999/112 for emergency help.

  • If the child is conscious and has difficulty breathing, an upright position may help.

  • Check for and treat any burns.

  • Carefully monitor airway and breathing and resuscitate if necessary.

It helps the paramedics if you:

  • Pass on containers or other information about the substance.

  • Find out how much has been taken.

  • Find out when it was taken.

  • Keep samples of any vomit for hospital analysis.

 

If you would like to learn more about poisoning or becoming a trained Paediatric First Aider our courses run every weekend :

http://www.littleoneslondon.co.uk/first-aid-courses/

If you would like to learn more about training in the field of childcare :

http://www.littleoneslondon.co.uk/training-for-nannies/

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