POISONING

Unintentional poisoning is a major cause of injury and hospital admissions for children in Australia.
Animals

Children are naturally curious and will often explore their environment by placing everything that they find in their mouths, including potentially poisonous products.

Unintentional poisoning is a major cause of injury and hospital admissions for children in Australia. Most incidents occur in children aged under 5 years of age, with children aged one to three years at greatest risk.

Many products used in our homes can be potentially harmful for children. Common poisonous items found in and around our homes include medicines (both prescription medicines and over the counter products such as everyday paracetamol), cleaning products, dishwasher powder/liquid, bleaches, fertilisers and pesticides, swimming pool and spa chemicals and cosmetics.

A large number of child poisoning incidents occur due to unsupervised access, including when poisons are left out after being used or when they aren’t stored in a safe place out of reach of little hands.

First aid for poisoning

  • • Never try to induce vomiting.
  • • Pick up the product container and take it with you to the phone – the Poisons Information Centre will want to know what ingredients are in the product.
  • • Phone the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 (24 hours a day, Australia wide). They will then advise you on what to do next.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide can be a hidden danger that many people are unaware of. It is a toxic gas with fumes that are impossible to see, taste or smell, which is why it is often referred to as a silent killer. Any appliances that use gas, oil, kerosene, or wood can produce carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can often be mistaken for viral infections or the flu. When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it replaces oxygen in the blood, which may cause symptoms including headaches, drowsiness, shortness of breath, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, weakness, confusion or chest pain. High levels can cause loss of consciousness and death.

For more information and advice on what you can do to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home, please visit our friends at The Chase and Tyler Foundation.

Resources

Preventing Poisoning in Children

The Chase and Tyler Foundation Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Resources