Help! My son ingested something and I don’t know what it was! What Should I do?

Diseases caused by viruses, bacteria or immunity problems are not the only reasons why our children get sick to the point of being admitted to intensive care.
One of the most common problems that I find in intensive care is accidental swallowing of medicine or a liquid that was in the wrong place or some kid been exposed to very toxic or dangerous substances.
Children from the moment they begin to crawl have the reflex of touching everything in front of them and they take everything they find and put it in their mouths. This is a method that children use to study what they have found new.
We as parents must consider where we place all the things that can cause danger for our children.

What Products in The Home Can Cause Health Problems If They Are Ingested:

1) Toxic liquids such as:

  • Detergents
  • Liquid soaps
  • Chlorine
  • Ammonia
  • Any other cleaning liquid

2) Medications

3) Other: Camphor etc.

As prevention:

  • These types of liquids should be kept in high places where children cannot reach them or in locked rooms/cupboards.
  • The plugs must be blocked so that children cannot insert their fingers.
  • Medications must be placed in containers that are safe to close and difficult to open.
  • Do not put toxic liquids in containers that can be confused as food containers.
  • If you want to use camphor, use it away from children in high places because the smoke that it gives off can cause seizures.

What to Do If Our Child Swallows A Toxic Substance or A Wrong Medication:

  • The first thing you should do is call 911.
  • Do not induce vomiting.
  • Do not put your fingers in your child’s mouth unless you see the object clearly in the mouth and it is clearly accessible.
  • Take the rest of the substance or container or medication with you to give to the doctors.
  • I cannot stop reiterating the importance of calling 911 when your child is in any kind of danger or ingested any kind of toxic substance.
  • We must help in keeping the roads open so that when professional help arrives at your home it takes the most efficient route and perform excellent service.

-Dr. Denise Núñez is a pediatrician and founder of the Niño de la Caridad Foundation in the Bronx.

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¡Auxilio! ¡Mi hijo ingirió algo y no sé qué fue! ¿Qué hago?

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