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By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

Poisoning occurs frequently, especially with children in the age of 1 to 5 years old. Even though poisoning is frequent it is luckily very rare that children are permanently damaged or die from it. How ill the child becomes depend on what kind of toxin the child has eaten or drunk and how large quantities the child has taken in.

The child can be exposed to poisoning through the skin (acids and bases), in the eyes (acids and bases), through the lungs (toxic gasses) and through the mouth (medication, chemicals and plants).

The most frequent causes of poisoning are medication, chemicals, tobacco, mushrooms, plants and insect bites. Both chemicals and medication should be kept locked away in a cabinet. Ashtrays should be emptied for left over tobacco. Mushrooms and plants growing in the nature are difficult to avoid, but it is a good idea go through the area the child moves about in on a daily basis for poisonous plants and mushrooms.

In most cases with poisoning, it is sensible to consult the doctor. There is an uncountable number of poisons and the doctor can look the poison up and advise you. It is important that you are as specific as possible about finding out what and how much the child has taken in of the toxin.

Click here to read about how you evaluate your child

What can you do?

If the child has acid or base on the skin, the skin must be rinsed with plenty amounts of water. If the child has acid or base in the eye, the eye must be rinsed with water immediately.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

Never wait till the next day with calling the doctor.

Contact the doctor immediately

If the child has breathed in toxic fumes. If the child has eaten or drunk something toxic, you should not try to make it vomit but instead call the doctor immediately. If the child has something on the skin or in the eye and it still hurts after you have rinsed with water for 15 minutes.