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Babies and toddlers tend to put everything into their mouths. It is an inbuilt reflex that makes the babies and toddlers do this. It is way in which they feel the world around them and learn more about it.
Apart from seeing, touching, hearing and feeling, tasting is also an important way in which they perceive the world. But this can also lead to unwanted incidents and accidents. It was noted in a survey that many of the babies fall prey to accidental poisoning every single year.
Children are exposed to a variety of things and substances in their daily lives. These may be inside the house, in the garden or in some other place that they may visit. Toxic substances are everywhere.
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Parents can prevent accidental exposure to toxic substances to an extent by locking them away or putting them out of the reach of the child. But, many a times, this strategy might not work. A lot of times, an exposure may not even be avoided.
Hence, parents need to be aware of the preventive measures, signs of poisoning and what to do in case of an accidental poisoning.
Today, we shall discuss how to recognize the symptoms of accidental poisoning and what a parent can do in such cases. We shall also see if these can be prevented as and when possible. So, stay with us to know more.
Things That Can Cause Accidental Poisoning
- Household cleaning products
- Cosmetics and makeup
- Medicines and other prescription drugs
- Essential oils
- Toiletry items like aftershave and perfumes
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Recognising The Signs Of Poisoning
If your child suddenly falls ill, you need to suspect an accidental poisoning. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms if you think that he or she might have ingested something toxic.
- Loose motions/diarrhoea
- Unusual drowsiness
- Pain in the abdomen
- Burning sensation in and around your baby's mouth
- Chills or fever
- Breathing irregularities
- Absence of appetite
- Problems in swallowing food
- Saliva dribbling
- Rashes on the skin
- Blue discolouration of the skin and lips
Also Read: Facts About Schizophrenia In Kids
What To Do If There Has Been A Case Of Accidental Poisoning?
If your child is seen to have some or all of the above-mentioned symptoms, you need to quickly follow the steps that are given below.
- Try to find out the substance that has been ingested by the child. Also see if you can ascertain the amount of the substance that has been swallowed.
- Take your child to the hospital as soon as possible.
- Try to take a sample of the substance that was ingested by your child, if you know what it is, to the doctor. You may also carry the container to the doctor. This will help your doctor to chart a correct plan of treatment.
- If you can, give your doctor the correct time of ingestion.
How To Prevent Accidental Poisoning?
- Sift through the things in your home. Throw away toxic items that aren't absolutely necessary.
- Keep the toxic items always locked. Use cupboards, drawers or bins that can be locked.
- Keep in mind that the child-proof locks aren't always child proof. A kid could easily learn the mechanism if he or she watches you operate it a couple of times. Make sure that all the items that are of risk are kept out of the reach of the child.
- Do not keep your medications within the child's reach. Table tops and counter tops are not safe. Neither are your bags and purses.
- Toxic substances like detergents, cleaning products and soap must not be stored in containers that are similar to the containers used to store food items. The child may eat the toxic things mistaking it to be food. These things are best stored in its original containers.
- Never pretend that medicine is a sweet or chocolate to coax the child to consume it. He or she may end up eating it later.
- Try to take your medicine in private, that is, away from the child's eyes. If the baby sees you consuming the substance, he/she may also try to imitate you. Same is the case if you drink alcohol or smoke.
- If you have guests, ask them to put their handbags in places that are out of the baby's reach.
- If you have to visit someone, keep an eye on your baby. It will not be possible for your hosts to child proof their homes for your sake. So, make sure that your child is always under your watchful eyes.