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What should you do if your child imbibes something toxic?

As a parent, you do your best to make sure that your child can grow and thrive in a healthy environment. However, accidents can still happen, and children are very good at getting into things they shouldn’t be getting into. What should you do if you believe your child has swallowed something potentially toxic?

Mayo Clinic has a list of basic poison first aid steps that you can take if you suspect that your child may have eaten something toxic. Physical symptoms can include vomiting, trouble breathing or staying awake, or confusion. You may also detect the smell of chemicals on their breath, like paint thinner, or see signs of chemical burn around their mouth.

Other potentially dangerous items that may be swallowed include button batteries from medical devices or medicinal patches which may be swallowed whole. It is important to keep an eye out for wrappers, pill bottles, packages, stains, or other signs that something is amiss.

Once you have determined that your child may have swallowed something, it is important to call 911 for emergency medical attention as soon as possible. The Poison Control Center or Poison Help should also be contacted especially if the person will soon be going to the emergency department, or has no visible symptoms. When waiting for help to arrive, you should look at the container of the item that you suspect has been imbibed and follow what it says to do in the case of ingesting the product. Induced vomiting is absolutely not recommended, as it can often cause more damage than help.

In following these basic steps, you can avoid causing more harm and help your child out until the proper care arrives.

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