fbpx
Below: Poisonings in children are most often preventable. Dr. Epstein, pediatric intensivist, discusses the most common poisons for children and what to be concerned about.

(This is the 5th in a series of articles of the same title. Read the 1st article here)

 

As parents, we are always concerned about the health of our children. One of the most common questions that I get is:

“When should I seek medical care for my child?”

My simple response is:

”Whenever you feel the need!”

This is part 5 in continuation of “When to Seek Medical Care for Your Child” and the final part in this series. I will discuss suspected poisonous ingestions in this current posting.

I have had many experiences with toxic or poisonous ingestions over my career.

They range from an intentional ingestion of a large dose of Tylenol, by a teenager, causing liver failure in the pediatric intensive care unit to an accidental ingestion of a candy given by a stranger that was infused with THC (the main psychoactive compound in marijuana) and, subsequently, caused altered mental status in a young child.

As a physician in acute care pediatrics, our main duty is to stabilize, support, and treat a child after a poisonous or toxic ingestion, but the most important piece of advice that I can give to parents is to try and not let it happen in the first place.

 

As a physician in acute care pediatrics, our main duty is to stabilize, support, and treat a child after a poisonous or toxic ingestion, but the most important piece of advice I give to parents is to not let it happen in 1st place. Click To Tweet

 

It is a tall order because poisonous and toxic substances are ubiquitous in our environment, especially in our homes. Also, young children put everything in their mouths and many of the colorful substances are too tempting for them to not trying and eat or drink.

These range from home cleaning supplies that can cause chemical burns if swallowed to medications stored at home that can cause suppression of breathing, slowing of the heart rate, or a drop in blood sugar levels.

Also, because of the growth the marijuana edibles industry, kids have a greater potential of eating things that look exactly like candy and treats that they are used to seeing, but contain THC like the story that I mentioned above.

All of this may be overwhelming, but there are support systems in place to help parents and families try and prevent a catastrophic illness and injury from a poisonous or toxic ingestion.

Prevention is the primary treatment plan.

This treatment plan includes putting potentially dangerous substances in places that are out of reach for young children, putting them in secured cabinets, and using medication bottles that are difficult for children to open.

A fantastic resource for parents is on the American Academy of Pediatrics sponsored website, healthychildren.org. This is a great resource for parents on many topics, but they have a specific page on poison prevention as well.

The other resource that is critical for families is the poison control center. They will be able to answer your questions and help you decide the seriousness of the ingestion.

All parents should have the phone number handy: 1-800-222-1222.

The poison control center is specialized to answer questions about the endless possible substances that someone can be exposed to. Finally, your primary care physician is an excellent resource as well and they can guide you and address your concerns.

If the ingestion occurs and you need to know if you should seek medical attention at your local hospital, call poison control or your primary care physician as soon as possible. However, if your child is not breathing, unconscious, or having seizures or convulsions due to a poison ingestion or contact, call 911 or your local emergency department immediately. Nevertheless, if you are concerned in any way and want your child to be examined by a medical provider, just take them to your local hospital for a thorough evaluation. It is never an overreaction to seek medical care for your child, if you are concerned about something potentially poisonous that they ingested or came in contact with.

Has your child, or anyone else’s child that you know, ingested a poisonous or potentially toxic substance?

What was your experience?

If you have any questions about this or other topics, please feel link up with me via my profile.

Tweet this out

Ad from SoMeDocs.

SoMeDocs Front Page Header

Marketing physician voices uniquely!

Our Venture Amplifies Healthcare Voices.

Ad from SoMeDocs.

SoMeDocs Front Page Header

Marketing physician voices uniquely!

Our Venture Amplifies Healthcare Voices.

David Epstein, MD, MS, FAAP

Dr. Epstein is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric critical care medicine. He has a passion for community education and advocacy online and focuses on acute care pediatric topics.

SoMeDocs

SoMeDocs, short for Doctors on Social Media, is a physician-created & led health media company that aims to build a beautiful catalogue of verified online healthcare voices. Our goals are to teach educated professionals tools for personal success, and to showcase them to the world, and facilitate the connections needed to grow. Join us.

Negotiation series header: David Norris

Negotiate as a Physician and Win

Catch this 8-part series, hosted by physician & business consultant David Norris, MD, MBA & produced by Dana Corriel, MD. Learn to be a stronger negotiator with these important tactics.

Conversations with Shem: Season 2

Medical literature icon Samuel Shem, author of “The House of God” returns for season 2 of conversation, in order to discuss the broken healthcare system. This time, he’s brought the guests!

Doctors on Social Media Teach Podcasting Header Image

Doctors On Social Media Teach Podcasting

Today’s health experts are sharing their expertise in audio format using podcasts. Join us as we explore how we do this and bring on the innovators who are giving it their all.

Mimi Zieman M.D.

Mimi Zieman M.D.

We all have inner voices that need to be listened to, and stories to tell. Voices speaking up for women and justice are needed now more than ever.

Edward S. Rubin, M.D.

Edward S. Rubin, M.D.

I specialize in the treatment of chronic pain of the low back and neck. At my practice I make sure to have all of my patients’ backs in their daily fight against chronic pain.

Meridith Grundei

Meridith Grundei

Perfection is highly overrated. It’s time to start getting comfortably uncomfortable and start sharing your voice with the world!

JD Gershbein

JD Gershbein

“Linkedin is like a raffle; you must be present to win.”

Ann M. Richardson, MBA

Ann M. Richardson, MBA

“The Doctor Whisperer” – Healthcare systems transformation consultant and fierce physician, care team, and patient advocate.

SoMeDocs Logo

The Healthcare Connection Hub

Disclaimer: SoMeDocs assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, claims, or content of the individual experts' profiles, contributions and courses. Details within posts cannot be verified. This site does not represent medical advice and you should always consult with your private physician before taking on anything you read online. See SoMeDocs' Terms of Use for more information.

Grow with us.

We take rolling applications for regular contributors

We had a fantastic turnout and brought a large number of physician contributors on board our 1st & 2nd rounds. If you’re interested in being considered for a future round, submit an application now and we’ll be in touch when it opens. Regularly contributing means you share your thoughts, stories, opinions, or advice on our website, and we make it pretty/circulate. It’s essentially our large effort to collectively market health experts and grow thought leaders. We also consider applications for our “Experts for Health Experts” section, depending on the pitch. Are you ready to join us? If you prefer immediate access & want to build yourself space now, consider becoming a member.

Play Video
Our Founder Answers Your BURNING Question

SoMeDocs

“Why should I become a member of SoMeDocs if I already have my own space online?”