If you see a child or adult poisoned with bleach, fuel, kerosene, acid, drugs, fumes, etc., you can give them this first aid to prevent death before the arrival of medical help.
Whether it is pain relieve drugs, smoke and generator fumes, pesticides and insecticides, cosmetic products, bleach and caustic soda, household fuels like kerosene, petrol and diesel poisons are everywhere and anyone can fall victim especially children.
Once a person is poisoned by any substance understanding what first aid to give depends on two major things;
Type of poison and where the poison affected – skin, eyes, inhaled or swallowed.
For poison on the skin or clothes do the following:
- Quickly and carefully remove the victim’s clothes.
- Pour large amounts of water over the skin for 15 minutes.
- Wash the skin thoroughly many times with soap and water.
- Move to the nearest hospital!
For poison in the eyes perform the following:
- Remove any contact lenses.
- Pour clean water in the eyes for 15 minutes (don’t use soap!).
- Encourage the victim to blink.
- Move to the hospital instantly.
Remember every second matters and a slight delay could lead to permanent loss of sight!
For swallowed poison check these methods out:
- Follow instructions on the poison container.
- Give some water/milk for irritating poisons “IF” victim is awake not convulsing and can swallow.
- Rush to the hospital.
Note: Don’t give palm oil for swallowed poison because it can block the airway and worsen the condition.
For inhaled or sniffed poison do these:
- Instantly move victim to a place with fresh air devoid of toxic fumes.
- If they vomit turn their head to the side to avoid choking.
- If no signs of life (not moving or breathing) start CPR.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique. That can be performed by any trained person.
It involves external chest compressions and rescue breathing. CPR performed within the first six minutes of the heart-stopping can keep someone alive until medical help arrives.
Move to hospital.
After attempting first aid measures for about 15 minutes you must rush the person immediately to a Health Centre.
If possible, come along with some of the poison or medicine and the container. And do everything to keep the victim from crying.
Warning! Never try to make a poison victim vomit. For example, don’t stick a finger or spoon in the victim’s mouth to make them “vomit out the poison”!
If you do that you may cause aspiration which means the poison enters the victim’s airway leading to a serious injury that can kill faster!
As adults, parents or caregivers, we should beware of the risks of accidental poisoning, especially in kids.