Once your little one is on the move, temptation is everywhere!!  For peace of mind, it is important to know what do if your child needs treatment for poisoning.

First of all you will need to install cupboard locks, toilet seat locks, stair gates and take any measure necessary to keep them safe.  However accidents do happen, and should your little one ingest something that could be poisonous, do you know the steps you’d need to take?

The Red Cross have just launched a new ‘Rapped Up’ campaign to help parents with first aid advice – the first installment relating to poisoning and harmful substances, following these frightening statistics:

Red Cross survey statistics on poisoning:

  • 58% of parents wouldn’t know how to recognise nor treat a poisoning incident (if their child has swallowed a harmful substance)
  • More than half of parents (53%) weren’t confident in being able to give their child first aid if they had swallowed a harmful substance.
  • A lot of people- one third – 31% – still think you should encourage someone to drink milk, water, or make them sick. However this could cause further harm.
  • 5000 babies and children attended A&E last year due to poisoning incidents.

Harmful substances and poisons include alcohol, drugs (prescription or non-prescription drugs), chemicals (including household cleaning products) and some plants if you swallow them.

Poisoning – What to do

Establish what they have taken, when and how much. 
Why? The emergency services will want to know this information.

Call 999.
Why? The substance could be extremely harmful and the baby or child may need urgent medical attention.

Myths about poisoning and what treatment is right

  • Myth: Induce vomiting, drink milk or down water when a child swallows a harmful substance.
  • Truth: Establish what was taken, how much and when, and dial 999. Vomiting can increase the damage, while drinking liquid could exacerbate the effects of poison.

For more information the The Rapped Up campaign, please visit www.redcross.org.uk/rappedup where you can watch the video above, download free baby and child first aid app or book on to a first aid course near you.