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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
Children can suffer poisoning either by swallowing or inhaling toxic substances, or by coming into contact with, or ingesting, certain plants. Symptoms include: burns or burning sensations around the mouth, coughing, gagging, nausea, dizziness, thirst, convulsions, fever, slurred speech, rashes, and difficulty breathing. If the poison was swallowed, call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or 9-1-1. Try to identify the poison and save the container, contaminated food, or poisonous plant. Don't give any liquid to an unconscious child. Don't induce vomiting or give the child anything to drink unless you know what has been swallowed and are instructed to do so by a physician or poison-control center. Some substances should not be vomited, because they'll cause even more damage to body tissues on their way up. If the poison has been inhaled, do the above, as well as seek medical aid and oxygen immediately. Get the child to fresh air. When possible, shut off the source of any fumes and ventilate the area, being careful not to inhale the fumes yourself. If the child has had a severe reaction on contact with a plant, or if the child is highly allergic, seek medical aid. Remove contaminated clothing and wash all affected areas with soap and water, being careful not to break blisters. Apply calamine (CAL-uh-mine) or a similar type of lotion to ease the itching. Wash your own hands afterward, and wash any contaminated clothing separately.

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