First aid for poisonings

The snow is melting, temperatures are rising and over the weekend we turned the clocks forward. Yes, spring is in the air. And in many homes across southeast Wisconsin, so are the scents of cleaning products.

Spring-cleaning, an annual tradition for many, can bring about potential poison hazards if you’re not careful. At Wisconsin Poison Center, we see an increase in calls this time of year, usually related to children getting into cleaning products. If a poisoning occurs, I suggest following the guidelines below.

If a person:

  • Stops breathing.
  • Collapses.
  • Has a seizure.

Call 911 right away.

Poison in the eyes

Rinse eyes with running water. Then, call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Poison on the skin
Take off any clothing that the poison touched. Rinse skin with running water. Then, call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Inhaled poison
Get to fresh air right away. Then, call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Swallowed poison
Call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Do not try home remedies or try to make someone vomit.  Call the Poison Center first.

We answer more than 50,000 calls each year regarding potentially hazardous substances and situations. Ninety percent of poisonings occur in homes. Although unintentional poisoning affects people of all ages, children age 6 and younger and elders taking multiple medications are at greatest risk. The most common hazards for children include: personal care products and cosmetics, household cleaners, plants and pesticides, and over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, cough/cold products and multivitamins.

For any poison-related question or emergency, call our staff at the Poison Center, 1-800-222-1222. The Poison Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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