Providing a safe home for children – Poisons
Providing a safe home for children – Poisons Could you save a life?
Recently while presenting a first aid training course, a class member told a story about her child, and speed at which they can get into danger. We were discussing poisons and what our actions will be as a first aider. This mother advised the class on this occasion she was about to administer medicine to her child and in the time she turned to grab the medicine measuring glass her child had grabbed the open medicine bottle and drank the entire contents. This entire process was less than two seconds!
A toddle or small child can’t help putting interesting objects into the month – they are programmed to do it!
Speaking with a nurse friend of mine who works the emergency department at a hospital in Brisbane, I was told parent’s and grandparent’s prescription medicines produce the most severe poisoning’s. Dishwashing powder and other common household cleaners cause the most horrific burns to a child airway/food pipe. Petrol, turps and kerosene are responsible for the largest number of admissions to hospital.
All medicines, cleaners and chemicals should be locked in a child-resistant cupboard. Remember that height alone is not adequate because toddlers can climb to ceiling height with the aid of chairs and benches.
Some addition tips on safe guarding our toddlers are:
· Insist on child-resistant containers for medicines and pills
· Never empty tablets/pills into a dish or container on or in a bedside table
· Check the used by dates on medicine and dispose of them correctly – take them back to the chemist for disposal.
· Make sure all bottles and containers are labelled clearly
· Never keep poisonous substances in soft drink or other drinking bottles that our children are familiar with.
· Food poisoning – contaminated food is not always identifiable by taste, smell or appearance. However, avoid any food which does not taste or smell as it should
· Attend a CPR and First Aid training course – Could you save a life?
First Aid Treatment
· Look around and gather possible clues to what is the source of poisoning
· Perform DRABCD if unconscious (Care for life threatening conditions)
· If conscious – ask questions to gather additional information
· Look for containers and take them with you to the telephone – Call the Poisons information Centre 13 11 26 and follow their directions.
· If you cannot ascertain the source call 000/112
Do not give the casualty anything to drink unless instructed to do so.
· While waiting for assistance, either from doctor or ambulance, observe the child closely to detect any change in the conscious state. If unconscious, turn the child on their side, keep their airway clear and check that they are breathing, (Look; Listen & Feel). If breathing stops, perform DRABCD
This article forms part of a series of articles on: Providing a safe home for children – Could you save a life?
Other articles that might be of interest are:
- Providing a safe home for children – Burns & Scalds
- Providing a safe home for children – Electric Shocks Choking
- Providing a safe home for children – Falls
Disclaimer: the content displayed is for information and educational purposes only. It does not replace, nor should it be considered an alternative to proper medical consultation and care
Paul Milne (Alibi Training Australia) is a recognised workplace Health, Safety and Communication specialists for businesses needing accredited and employee development training. Unlike other training organisations Alibi Training provides focused delivery methods combined with progressive assessment and practical interaction, reducing the amount of time your staff is away from their roles. Find more articles about: First Aid Training and providing a safe home – Could you save a live at: alibitraining.com.au