There were 5221 cases last year in Ireland mainly due to household products
The National Poisons Information Centre now located in Beaumont celebrated its 51st-anniversary recently. They serve both parents and health professionals seeking advice and to assist them in the management of acute poisoning. According to their 2015 annual report, there was 9365 enquiries and a staggering 5221 cases involving children under the age of ten.
There were over 2300 household products involved in poisoning incidents in 2015 and the most common products involved were fabric cleaning products. The report states there were 344 enquiries involving laundry products such as fabric softens, washing powders and liquid detergent products. 92% of those cases involved children under the age of five.
As a parent, myself, and one who has dealt with the poisons centre in the past, I know you can never be too careful. Children are so quick. They spend their first years exploring, everything they do is an adventure. And we need to remind ourselves regularly to lock up those household chemicals, medicines and cosmetics.
If you suspect your child may have been in contact with a poison the National Poisons Information Centre recommends:
- You stay calm but act quickly.
- Take the poison away from your child.
- If the poison was eaten remove any remaining pieces from their mouth. Do not make them vomit. Do not give them anything to eat or drink unless directed to by healthcare professionals.
- If a poison has splashed into their eyes, wash the eyes with water for 15 minutes.
- Or wash any skin thoroughly with water that a poison may have been in contact with. Do not put anything on the exposed area other than water.
Then call the public poisons information line on 01-8092166 between 8 am and 10 pm for non-judgemental advice. They will tell you on whether your child needs medical attention or not. Outside of these hours contact your GP or hospital or call 112/999.
Link to 2015 annual report: http://www.poisons.ie/docs/NPIC%20Annual%20Report_2015.pdf
Written by Kellie Kearney, Guest Writer With Family Friendly HQ.