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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Poisons, Children and First Aid
      Category : Health Centers > Poisoning and Toxicology

Poisons, Children and First Aid

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Poisoning occurs when a child comes in contact with a toxic substance. Contact can mean swallowing, inhaling, touching, or injecting a toxic substance.

What are the causes and risks of the injury?

Most of the poisonings reported to poison control centers in the US each year involve children and adolescents. Many involve children less than 6 years of age.

Younger children are at greater risk of poisoning. Children are curious and have poor impulse control. Poisoning in older children and adolescents is more likely to be due to impulsive, risk-taking behavior, such as alcohol poisoning or glue sniffing, or suicide attempts.

Poisons are in many household items. Items children can be poisoned by include:

  • prescription or over-the counter medications
  • detergents
  • plants
  • insecticides and pesticides around the home
  • animals
  • paint
  • cosmetics
  • illegal drugs
  • foods
  • personal care products
  • household cleaning products
  • vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Certain situations are more risky for children, especially toddlers. These are situations in which the caretaker may not be paying usual attention to the child. This is more likely to happen:

  • during holidays when a home has lots of visitors
  • when older people, who are not used to being around toddlers and who have medicine bottles with them, visit
  • when caretakers have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs


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    Poisons, Children and First Aid: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: John Wegmann, MD
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 03/20/00

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