Poisoning may be accidental or intentional - drugs, chemicals, and household cleaners are all potential poisons. They can hurt or kill you! Children are the most common victims of accidental poisoning. Adults and adolescents sometimes use poison to end their lives.
Rule #1- Never allow your body to come into contact (including touch/smell/eating) anything unknown to you!
Rule #2-If you think you have been 'poisoned' act as a detective think what exposure you have had in past 24 hours that may have caused symptons and call your local Poison Help Center at 1-800-222-1222. You can dial this number from anywhere in the US, including American Samoa, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Micronesia. They operate around-the-clock and can provide you with treatment options you can start before reaching an ER.
Rule #3-Call Poison Help Center for specific instructions. They will want to know:
- Type of poison
- How it happened
- Age of victim
- Estimated amount and time occurred
- Victim's condition
- Follow Poison Help Center's instructions!
More Answers from Kathleen Handal, MD