What to do if the child is poisoned
Often, child poisoning occurs due to inadequate childcare. In the overwhelming majority of cases, they are caused by the ingestion of low-quality foodstuffs, which are seeded with viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Also inexperienced parents can take poisonous mushrooms (for example, pale toadstool) for mushrooms or russula. Thus, cases of poisoning with inedible mushrooms become frequent. Very often there are cases of poisoning with drugs, when parents discover an empty blister from tablets. Therefore, the enteric type of poisoning in children significantly predominates over other types of poisoning.
In order to know how to act in this case, you must first find out what the child has poisoned, determine the type of intoxication.
Types of poisoning in children
- food (alimentary);
- medicinal (drug);
- toxic and chemical substances.
All poisonings, regardless of their origin, pass through three main periods:
- latent (latent) period - proceeds from the moment the toxin enters the body until the first symptoms of the disease appear;
- toxigenic period - there is a huge amount of toxin in the blood, which penetrates into vital organs by hematogenous and disrupts their normal functioning;
- somatogenic period - damage to internal organs (possible complications - acute hepatic or renal failure, toxic encephalopathy, sepsis).
It should be remembered that the poisoning in babies are much more difficult than in adults. This is due to the peculiarities of the morphofunctional immaturity of the child’s body.
Below we consider in detail all these three types of intoxication and first aid for them.
Food poisoning in children
Alimentary (food) poisoning occurs when eating poor-quality food, planted with pathogenic viruses and bacteria. Food poisoning is quite common in pediatric practice. And then a serious question arises in front of the parents: what to do if the child is poisoned by food, and on what grounds can you quickly understand about the onset of alimentary poisoning?
In the first hours after consuming such products, the following symptoms may appear:
- pain and rumbling in the abdomen;
- repeated vomiting;
- perhaps, an increase in body temperature to febrile numbers (above 38.5 degrees);
- repeated diarrhea (watery stools more than 10–12 times a day).
In food-borne toxicoinfections (pathogenic bacteria), feces have a fetid, offensive odor. Some babies in this case may have a short-term decrease in vision.
Staphylococcal lesion often occurs without diarrhea. In this case, signs of gastritis (repeated vomiting, epigastric pain) prevail. In this case, the body temperature remains in the normal range.
In severe cases, it is possible that seizures, bradycardia (decrease in heart rate), lowering blood pressure and fainting occur. With abundant multiple vomiting, the child loses a large amount of fluid, which is further manifested by symptoms of dehydration (dry skin, bradycardia, lethargy, possibly impaired consciousness). The difference in food toxicoinfection from other intoxications is a short incubation period (about 2–5 hours). Symptoms of the disease persist for two days. The short duration of such poisoning is explained by the fact that the pathogens, bacteria or viruses, circulate in the bloodstream for a short time.
The prognosis for this type of poisoning is favorable. Lethal outcomes are rare and possible only with the development of complications (hypovolemic shock, sepsis, acute heart failure).
In order for the effect on pathogenic bacteria and viruses to be effective, first aid to the child in case of poisoning should be given in the first hours of the onset of symptoms.
First aid for child food poisoning
- First aid for child food poisoning is gastric lavage with a 2% sodium bicarbonate solution (tubeless or probe method). The purpose of this manipulation is to remove stagnant, fermented and decaying food from the stomach, remove mucus and pathogens from the body;
- Reception of adsorbing agents (Polyphepan, activated carbon);
- Relief of diarrhea syndrome (calcium gluconate, calcium carbonate);
- Oral rehydration with saline solutions is performed to prevent the dehydration syndrome (Rehydron, Citroglucosolan);
- Restoration of the gastrointestinal mucous barrier (Smecta, Polysorb).
Drug intoxication is one of the most dangerous, especially for children.
Of the medicines, the most formidable for children are:
- analgesics (acetylsalicylic acid);
- antidepressants (clomipramine);
- sedatives (diazepam);
- antiarrhythmic drugs, cardiac glycosides, blood pressure lowering agents;
- Drugs for the treatment of bronchial asthma.
In order to prevent the development of serious complications, each parent should know the first symptoms and how to help the child with drug poisoning.
Even if you entered the room and saw empty blisters or scattered drugs, but the child’s behavior did not change at all, immediately call an ambulance . It should be remembered that the development of the effect of each drug is individual and the first clinical symptoms may appear after half an hour or after two hours.
When you call an ambulance brigade, you can always ask what to do if the child is poisoned.
First aid in case of medical poisoning of the child
- If possible, determine which drug was eaten by the child.
- Gastric lavage with 2% sodium bicarbonate solution or warm boiled water (tubeless or probe method). This manipulation should be carried out immediately, because after an hour, washing will be ineffective.
- Adsorbent agents (activated carbon, Polyphepan, Polysorb).
- Cleansing enema (at a dosage of 30 milliliters per kilogram-body weight every 4 hours).
In case of medical poisoning of the child, they are necessarily hospitalized in the intensive care unit, where doctors know how to remove intoxication in the child, and make all the necessary measures for his speedy recovery (whether it be infusion therapy, the introduction of antidotes or any other methods of highly skilled medical care).
The most reliable signs that a child has tasted one of the chemical agents are redness or burns in the mouth, tongue, anxiety, excessive salivation, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
Not every mother knows what to do when a child is poisoned by chemical means. Let's find out what to do in this case.
First aid for child poisoning by chemical means
- The first step is to call the ambulance as soon as possible.
- To establish the cause of the poisoning (which chemical agent was eaten or drunk by the child).
- Wash the stomach (tubeless or probe method). It should be remembered that you can not wash the stomach in case of poisoning with acid, alkali or gasoline! Otherwise, burns of the esophageal mucosa may occur during their reverse passage.
Further activities should be carried out in the hospital.
From the above it becomes clear that intoxication is one of the most serious problems for children's health, the danger of which is that they are not always easy to identify and difficult to treat.
However, having ideas about the clinical manifestations and knowing how to help a child with poisoning, parents will always be on the alert and not be confused in a difficult situation.