The number of harmful substances a child can get into in a home is nearly limitless. Add to this the fact that children are naturally curious, and it’s easy to see why half of all poisoning cases in the United States involves patients who are six years of age or younger. It’s important for parents to know what the signs of poisoning are so that treatment can be given right away. A few common signs of poisoning are:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chemical burns on the face, lips or mouth
- Severe throat pain
- Vomiting and stomach pain
- Extreme drowsiness
In addition to these symptoms, a child may exhibit a foul or unusual odor after coming into contact with harmful chemicals. There could also be a chemical residue found on a child’s clothing. In some cases, parents discover poisoning has occurred after finding a container out of place or one with spilled contents.
Actions after Poisoning
If poisoning is suspected, help should be sought immediately, even if the symptoms appear to be relatively minor. That’s because a child’s condition can quickly change, and the sooner help is sought, the better the odds of recovery are. The first step should be to call the Poison Control Center at 800.222.1222 and provide as much information as possible. Some of the things the Poison Control Center may need to know include:
- What was swallowed or ingested
- Approximate amounts taken
- When the poisoning occurred
- Age, gender and weight of the child
Visiting the Emergency Room
Staff members at the Poison Control Center will sometimes recommend visiting an emergency room for treatment. When taking a child to an emergency room, it can be helpful to take the substance that was swallowed along, as this may help with determining what treatments to give. Parents should not try to determine on their own what toxin is responsible, as this could result in the wrong treatment being given.
When Negligence is Suspected
Childhood poisoning sometimes happens whenever other people are negligent in storing hazardous substances. Day care centers, preschools and child enrichment programs must all take reasonable precautions to keep children from accessing cleaning supplies or other chemicals, and could be held liable for damages if they fail to do so. Parents of children who are poisoning victims should try to determine the cause of it, as they could have a remedy available to them under law if somebody was negligent. The best way to determine this is to hire an injury attorney who can review your case. To get justice for your child, call 713-222-1222 and schedule a free case review today.