Seek medical care when children consume poison – Paediatrician
Dr Seyram Wordui
The use of palm oil to induce vomiting when a child takes poison is one of the common practices in many homes.
However, a Paediatrician and the Chief Executive Officer of BabyChildandCo, Dr Seyram Wordui has warned that it is a dangerous practice which does more harm than good to a child.
In an interview with The Spectator on Monday, she explained that any attempt to induce vomiting by palm oil or any other substance or means should be discouraged because the poison would still be in the digestive system of the child and could lead to re-poisoning.
She said there was also the chances of more absorption of the poison by the child which could go the wrong way such as the lungs, airway among others which could aggravate the situation.
Dr. Wordui said trying to induce vomiting was also time consuming and that it was best to get to the hospital as early as possible when someone consumed poison.
On steps to take when poisoning occurred, she said that it was important to rinse the mouth of the child and make him or her spit it out to reduce continuous source of absorption because there could still be an amount of the poison in the mouth.
The Paediatrician said the clothes of the child should also be removed for a quick bath because some chemicals got absorbed when they came into contact with the skin.
She said ideally, the poison should be taken together with the child to the hospital but was quick to add that it should be well packaged to prevent continuous poisoning during transportation of the child and others to a health facility.
She explained that taking the poison to the hospital helped health workers to decide what to quickly do for the child because” some poisons have specific antidotes to neutralise them”.
The CEO for BabyChildandCo said in the case of poisoning caused by medicine, it was advisable to take the prescription along.
She said it was important to keep harmful substances out of the reach and sight of children because poisoning could lead to their death or make them severely ill.
She said some poisons when swallowed could cause the oesophagus of a child to shrink or become smaller or sometimes close it which necessitated an operation.
She said for parents that could be a traumatic experience so it was important for everyone to be responsible and make a conscious effort to prevent children who were obviously inquisitive to stay out of danger.
She advised that poisonous substances such as pesticides, detergents, bleaches among others should not he kept in water, beverage bottles or cosmetic containers as children were more likely to wrongly assume them to be water or food and would not take the trouble to smell them before consumption.
Dr Wordui said batteries from remote controls, mobile phones etc should also be kept out of the reach of children.
She said for medicines from the hospital or bought Over The Counter, it was better to keep them under lock and key.
From Dzifa Tetteh Tay, Tema