Poisoning is an everpresent danger in our lives today. The reason for this is because of the use of a lot of chemicals in our day to day life. It could be products that we use everyday, like cleaning products, detergent, fabric softeners or even highly corrosive chemicals like bleach It could also be poisonous plants or berries. An accidental overdose is also another cause for poisoning. These poisonous substances can cause temporary or permanent damage to the victim.
How can you detect a case of poisoning?
If your find any of the folowing symptoms there is a mighty chance it is a case of poisoning
- Sudden nausea or vomiting.
- Convulsions or fits.
- Cramps and stomach ache.
- Chest pain
- Burning sensation in the throat or stomach as a result of ingestion of corrosive chemicals
- Loss of consciousness
- Reduced or shallow breathing
What you can do?
- If the person is conscious, ask them what they swallowed, when they swallowed and how much.
- Try to confirm a case of poisoning. Sometimes it can be hard to detect. Check around the victim for any signs of overdose or poisoning.
- If the person vomits. Obtaining the vomit sample in a container to help the medical professionals identify the source of the poisoning.
- Do not coax the person to vomit unless it is advised by a medical professional
- Drink lots of water in case of burning sensation.
- In case of convulsions, do not try to make the person stop convulsing. Do not insert anything in their mouth or give them anything when the person is convulsing. Only give CPR when the convulsions have stopped.
- If you suspect poisoning by fumes or gases, take the victim outside to help provide fresh air.
- Call the emergency number and report what you see.
How can you prevent poisoning?
- Keep all medication out of reach of children.
- Keep all cleaning products, pest repellants and other harmful chemicals locked away in a cupboard. The brightly coloured bottles may attract a child's attention. Ensure they are out of sight of the children
- Child proof the cabinets and cupboards in the house.
- Do not use pesticides on indoor plants of plants that are placed in and around places that a child would go.
- Label all poisons. Do not store poisonous chemicals in containers that are usually used to store food.
What to do in cases of :
Exposure of chemicals to the eye.
- Remove contact lenses, if present.
- Rinse the eyes immediately with plenty of water for upto 15 mins.
- Blink the eyes rapidly.
Inhalation of toxic gases or fumes
- Move the victim to fresh air immediately
- Remove any obstructive or tight clothing like ties to help the person breath easily.
- Thoroughly ventinate the toxic area.
Exposure of chemicals to the skin.
- Rinse the affected skin immediately with plenty of water for upto 15 mins.
- Remove any clothing that may have become contaminated.
- Mild soap may also be used to clean up.