Basic first aid for your baby: accidental poisoning

Medicine cabinet

Babies love putting things in their mouths so it’s important to keep household and garden chemical products out of reach. Common poisons around the home include bleach, weed killer, and even plants such as daffodils, irises, berries and fungi. Iron tablets are also extremely dangerous to babies and young children so, if you’re taking these post pregnancy, it’s very important to keep them somewhere your child can’t get at them.

It’s not always easy to see what your baby’s swallowed but corrosive chemicals, such as bleach and drain cleaner, usually burn around the mouth and often cause sickness and/or diarrhoea. Very poisonous chemicals can even cause loss of consciousness or convulsions.

What you should do…

  • Try to identify the poison and call an ambulance.
  • Keep a sample of the poison to show the doctor and, if you can, tell him how much and how long ago your baby swallowed it.
  • Give your baby sips of water or milk.
  • Wipe away any poison left on her face with water.

Do not:

Try to induce vomiting – whatever your baby swallowed will cause the same problems on the way up as it did on the way down.

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