Preventing poisoning

Babies, especially when they start to crawl and cruise, are exploring their world but are unaware of potential dangers. They are curious, and will often put things in their mouth to explore their taste and texture.

Toddlers and preschoolers are also curious and exploring is one of their favourite activities - and they don't yet know what activities might be dangerous.

Poisoning can happen at any time. Here are some tips on how to minimise poisoning at home:

  • Install child-resistant locks on all cupboards where chemicals, medicines and cleaning products are kept.
  • Leave all chemicals, medicines and cleaning products in their original containers and follow the directions on the label.
  • Put all chemicals, medicines and cleaning products away immediately after use.

If your child has swallowed poison

Do not try to make your child vomit.

Pick up the container and take it to the telephone.

Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

If your child gets poison on his or her skin

Remove contaminated clothing, taking care to avoid contact with the chemical.

Flood the skin with cool running water.

Wash gently with soap and water and rinse well.

Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

If your child gets poison in his or her eyes

Flood the eye with water from a cup, jug or slowly running tap. Continue for 10-15 minutes, holding the eyelids open.

Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

If your child has inhaled (breathed in) poison

Take your child to fresh air quickly without placing yourself at risk.

Open doors and windows wide, if safe to do so.

Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.