Poisons and Safety

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Know What to Do in Case of Poisoning

Don't wait for symptoms to appear - act fast!

Warning signs of poisoning

  • An open container nearby
  • Pills, berries, etc., in the mouth
  • Strange odor on breath
  • Burns around the mouth
  • Sweating
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Dizziness or unconsciousness
  • Convulsions

Act quickly

  • Try to identify the poison if you can do so quickly. Look for a container
  • If the victim is responsive (alert, breathing on own, etc.) call the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222. If you have trouble getting through, call 911.
  • If the victim is unconscious or showing signs of severe poisoning (seizures, trouble breathing, etc.) call 911.
  • Do not make the victim vomit unless you are advised to do so by a medical professional.


When you phone for help

  • Bring the empty container with you to the phone.
    If possible, bring the child, too. Don't leave the child near the poison.
  • Stay calm.
    Be ready to answer questions about the poison (name, amount taken, etc.), and the child's age and weight.
  • Follow instructions quickly
    Ask questions if you don't understand something.
  • Don't try to make the person vomit.
    Do not stick your finger down the person's throat or give anything by mouth unless you are advised to do so by a medical professional.