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Poisoning is an important health problem of childhood. Hundreds of thousands of children apply to emergency services each year due to poisoning and many of them are disabled or even lost. The most important reason for poisoning is the ignorance or neglect of the families. Other reasons include the fact that drugs are produced in an attractive color and easy to open. Memorial Atasehir Medical Center Department of Pediatrics Uz. Dr. Dr. Ozlen Kaya Arbor gave information about the risk of poisoning and precautions to be taken in children.
Factors facilitating poisoning:
• Large family
• Family problems
• Parents are very busy, constantly busy
• The birth of a new brother
More than 90% of poisonings occur in homes known as the most reliable place.
More than 50% of patients reported to poison counseling centers due to poisoning are children under 5 years of age. Childhood intoxications are of particular concern to two age groups:
I. 9 months to 5 years
Intoxications seen in the first 5 years age group are more common due to accidents and in boys. Children in this age group are the most risky group because they are mobile, curious and investigative. In addition, they are eager to bring everything into their mouths and love to imitate the elders also makes poisoning easier. Children under 5 years of age usually have poisoning with a single substance.
Poisoning in adolescence is mostly seen in girls and occurs as a result of voluntary suicide. In adolescence intoxications, there is usually more than one drug intake.
Poisoning can be with a wide variety of substances:
a) Solid poisons: Drugs, plants, powders (detergents), pesticides in tablet form
b) Liquid poisons: Lotions, liquid soaps, syrups, lacquers and paints
c) Sprays: Spray paints, pesticides, cleaning sprays
d) Invisible poisons: Gases and vapors. Combi-geyser, vehicle exhaust gas, stove smoke
Symptoms of poisoning vary widely depending on the substance taken. There are various symptoms such as increase-decrease in heart rate, increase-decrease in respiratory rate, drop or drop in blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, loss of consciousness and referral.
Even very small amounts of some drugs can have lethal effects. Even a single tablet can sometimes kill a child. The most dangerous poisoning substances are: drugs (antidepressants, iron-containing drugs, heart medications, remedial drugs), cleaning agents that can cause burns in the esophagus (sink openers, oil solvents, toilet stone cleaners…), carbon monoxide, pesticides, hydrocarbons (furniture) cleaners, thinner…), wild mushrooms.
In case of poisoning:
• Keep your doctor's phone number within easy reach
• Keep the number of the poison information center at home (114 - free of charge)
• Have the ambulance number at home (112)
• Keep calm first
• Review all medications around the child to understand why poisoning occurs
• Keep the child away from the hazardous environment
• If unconscious, check for breathing and pulse
• Prepare for artificial respiration and cardiac massage if life-threatening
• Keeping calm while calling your doctor and providing the following information correctly can be life-saving: the child's state of consciousness at the time, the full name of the drug, how many tablets or syrup bottles he drank, the time of poisoning, the age and weigh of the child…
Vomiting may not be correct in every poisoning. Do not induce vomiting unless you ask the health professionals. In acidic substances, petroleum products such as kerosene or ether may induce vomiting rather than harm the patient. In addition, if the patient is unconscious, it should not be vomited.
After the 1970s, the development of safer drug packaging methods for children and their use all over the world reduced the number of drug-related intoxications. In the United States, there were 226 cases of poisoning-related deaths under the age of 5 in 1970, while only 49 children died in 1990. Currently, mortality due to acute intoxication is less than 1%.
In some cases of intoxication without a history of exposure to a toxic substance, signs and symptoms may mimic the disease. The opposite is also possible. The emergency physician should always keep in mind the possibility of poisoning. Especially in adolescents, misleading stories of health personnel are common. In adolescence cases, parents and children should be discussed separately
A poisoned child may suffer permanent damage to all systems, depending on the substance he drinks. These can be very serious, resulting in renal failure - dialysis, heart failure, loss of consciousness, coma and death.
Advice to families for the prevention of poisoning
• Never take medicines in front of children. Remember that they will imitate you.
• Never give children medicines as sugar.
• Always store medicines and cleaning agents in locked cabinets and out of reach of the child.
• Make sure that all dangerous products are labeled. Never put toxic substances in water glasses.
• Do not give your children medication in the dark.
• Always store medicines in their original packaging. Do not place hazardous cleaning agents (vitriol, ether, thinner…) in old beverage bottles, such as cola or soda bottles.
• Some of the poisonings are in hospitality. Do not leave children alone in the kitchens and bathrooms. Not every family is as rigorous as you are.
Keep in mind that children can open any kind of packaging.
- Do not put any dangerous substances in the refrigerator.
-Don't expose insect and mouse poisons. This type of poisons are absorbed from the skin and mixed with the blood, children should never touch.
- Investigate whether the leaves of your home plants are poisonous.
- Check the safety of the heaters such as combi geyser stoves frequently.
-Paint your house with lead-free paint.
Always seek help from healthcare providers, considering the worst possible possibility of poisoning. Do not postpone going to the hospital with thoughts such as what harm comes from a tablet or vomit is no longer in danger. Take all the medicines you find with your child on their way to the hospital, and try not to give incomplete information about which one to drink.
Please note that the poison information center is open 24 hours a day.