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Poisoning

It has been found that as many as 80 per cent of nearly all poisonings happen in children below five years. In fact, infants make use of their mouths to gain knowledge regarding the world. In you have ever watched infants closely, you will find that almost everything, for instance, toys, toes, fingers and even clothes, also goes into their mouth.

It may be noted that most of the accidental poisonings that occur to children are owing to indigestion of unsafe substances that are found around their homes. For instance, common household items like cosmetics, medicines, hobby supplies, paints, pesticides, cleansing products and varnishes and so on include unsafe chemical compounds. What is worse is the fact that generally such products are available in vivid and multicolored packages that attract the exploring eyes of a child. The chemical compounds enclosed by these products may result in grave injury or some times even in death due to poisoning in case a inquisitive child consumes them.

Childhood poisoning may also occur owing to a number of other causes, including when a child receives excessive medication or any wrong medication. Generally, this takes place when a child is given medicines that were originally prescribed for someone else. Therefore, sharing medications is not only hazardous, but may also give your child a toxic dose, which may eventually result in poisoning.

At the same time, there are a number of houseplants as well as outdoor plants that are poisonous to varying degrees. Statistics reveal that every year a number of children suffer from poisoning owing to ingestion of poisonous leaves, flowers or berries from different plants. Hence, it is advisable that if you have small children at home, you ought not to keep any poisonous houseplants. Remember, even if you place these plants at a place that is beyond the reach of children, there is always the possibility of the poisonous leaves dropping on the floor and being accessible to your child.

When a child is affected by plant poisoning, he/ she may have symptoms like blisters and/ or ulcers in their mouth or tongue and they may even begin to swell. In addition to plant poisons, alcohol is also extremely hazardous for children. Therefore, it is advisable that you always keep the cabinets containing spirits and wine under lock and key. Simply screwing the lids of the bottles tightly is not enough to keep them away from children, for they are quite efficient in opening things. Remember, even a little amount of alcohol may prove to be detrimental for an infant.

Similarly, remote controls of different electronic devices are also likely to enclose little batteries enclosing mercury and this may result in poisoning if a child swallows them. In many households, cigarettes and tobacco are usually left scattered in the room. In fact, all forms of tobacco are exceedingly dangerous poison and a mere cigarette stub has the potency to poison a child. Therefore, it is essential to keep all forms of tobacco beyond the reach of children.

Several varieties of mushrooms grow in different areas of the country and some of these are often poisonous/ lethal when consumed. It is only possible for people proficient in identifying mushrooms to differentiate between mushrooms that are poisonous and those that are safe for consumption. In most cases, healthcare providers in the emergency departments of hospitals use inactivated charcoal to cure poisoning cases. In fact, large doses of inactivated charcoal are given to the poisoning victims with a view to thwart the poison from being soaked up from the stomach. You may also purchase inactivated charcoal tablets from the drug stores. However, these tablets are only meant to alleviate indigestion and flatulence and they should never be used to treat poisoning cases at home. This is primarily owing to the fact that the dosage of these inactivated charcoal tablets is very small.

A number of cosmetic products that are used for artificial nails are also likely to be poisonous in various amazing ways. Although it may seem to be incredible, there are reports that a number of nail glue removers have resulted in cyanide poisoning when they were gulped down by children. In addition, a number of nail primers too have resulted in burns to the skin as well as mouth of children who have attempted to drink them.

Hydrocarbons include an assortment of products, including kerosene, lamp oil, gasoline, lighter fluid, motor oil, and paint thinner and furniture polish. If any one tries to swallow these liquids, they can easily cause suffocation. In case such a thing occurs, they have the aptitude to take a turn for the worse and enter the lungs rather than going into the stomach. When these liquids enter any person's lungs, it makes it difficult to breathe. In effect, these hydrocarbons may also lead to lung inflammation, for instance, pneumonia. It may be noted here that hydrocarbons are among the major causes responsible for poisoning death among children.

It is important to keep chemicals used to eliminate bugs as well as other pests carefully so that they do not cause harm to humans, as all pesticides are poisonous substances. The human skin has the aptitude to soak up several pesticides. Several other pesticides may also enter our body by inhaling their fumes. There are others that harm the nervous system and may make it difficult to breathe, often causing suffocation.

Even little amounts of the liquids that are used as windshield washer and/ or antifreeze are extremely poisonous to humans as well as pets. In fact, swallowing windshield washer solution may result in blindness and even death. Similarly, swallowing antifreeze may result in kidney failure and even death.

In the event of any type of poisoning, you must always seek your doctor's advice or rush to the emergency department of any nearby hospital. In specific instances of poisoning, it is likely that your doctor would advice that you give milk to your child. However, milk should only be given to the child affected by poisoning only if it has been recommended by a doctor.

Induced vomiting is basically compelling your child, who has been poisoned, to throw up the toxic substance ingested or swallowed by him/ her. However, this therapy is only required in specific cases of poisoning. You should induce vomiting only after ascertaining which toxic substance is responsible for poisoning the child and also only if your doctor has recommended you to do so. In case your child has gulped down any acerbic substance, it might be very dangerous to induce vomiting. Therefore, it is advisable that you should always consult your doctor before you force your child to throw up.

While it is vital to keep your children under observation as far as possible, it is just not possible to make out what they are doing all the time. This is a major reason why it is the most imperative as well as practical action that needs to be taken in preventing poisoning is to make certain that the noxious substances are absolutely beyond the reach of children. For this you ought to meticulously check your house as well as garden and confiscate any unsafe or detrimental products you may find and put them in a cabinet that is securely locked.

Supplements and herbs

See age-appropriate dosages of herbal remedies

Herbal therapy for poisoning aims at assisting your child to recuperate when the severe period of the emergency has passed. In case you think that your child has been affected by poisoning, immediately seek emergency medical help for your child.

When your child has recovered sufficiently from poisoning and returned home from the hospital, you should give him/ her Echinacea with a view to facilitate detoxifying the blood. In addition, you should also give the child ginger tea to reinvigorate normal functioning of the digestive system. One dose of the ginger tea should be given twice every day for five consecutive days.

It may be noted that ginger tea facilitates in cleansing the digestive tract. Hence, it is advisable that you give your child one or two doses of ginger tea every day for three to five days consecutively following the poisoning incident.

Additional things you may do

There are several ways to prevent poisoning. First and foremost, you should be alert regarding the poisonous substances in and in the region of your home. Initiate measures to protect infants from any substance that might have slightest amount of toxicity. In addition, you should store all medications, cosmetics, cleaners as well as household chemicals beyond the reach of children. Alternately, you may keep them in cabinets having latches that are childproof.

In addition, you should be acquainted with all the plants in your home, garden, yard and neighborhood and also keep your children up to date about them. If there are any toxic plants, get rid of them immediately. Be careful never to consume any wild plants, roots, mushrooms or berries if you are not certain that they are not harmful. Moreover, educate your children regarding the threats of substances enclosing poisons. It is advisable that you also label the entire poisons.

As mentioned earlier, you should always store all medications, chemicals as well as household products securely as well as beyond the reach of children. They may be stored in a locked cupboard that is placed high enough and is childproof. Also remember never to share your medications with anyone. Keep the medications separated from other household products.

Here is a word of caution. Despite the fact that they are labeled, never keep household chemicals in food containers. In addition, you ought to always remember that most of the non-food substances are generally poisonous when consumed in large amounts or doses.

In order to avoid poisoning, all medications and chemicals should always be used in a safe manner. Make certain that all the products are labeled appropriately and stored in the containers they came in. From time to time, you should also clean the cupboard where you keep all your medications, including the first aid kit. If any medication has lapsed its expiry date, dispose them in a safe and proper manner. You may ask your pharmacist for further details regarding the safe disposal of outdated medicines. Generally, most children have the habit to imitate the adults they come across; hence, you should avoid taking any medication in front of them. Never tell your children that some medicines have sweet flavor or have a taste similar to candy because it may lure the children to take those medications unnecessarily and face increased risk of poisoning.

Besides these, use individual protection equipment while spraying or painting. Make sure that there is sufficient ventilation with the air circulating properly. At the same time, get rid of all unhygienic clothing right away. And also store everything in the original containers. Always avoid storing things in cups or soft drink bottles to stay away from the risk of poisoning.

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Comments

From Jon - 2010
A lot of plants are reputed to help with poisoning. The body has means to reduce absorption of (plant) poisons and it seems the taste is important in activating the response. The stomach actually has taste-buds that can detect flavours often found in poisonous plants and respond to this. But medications and chemicals don't have those flavours. There's also the possibility to build tolerance to poisons gradually and the same poisons are found in many different plants. And I could go on.
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