In 2016, The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), in an article by Celso Amo of The Philippine Star, warned the Philippine public against eating goby, a small freshwater fish, following the tragic death of three children in Brgy. Parang, Camarines Norte.
The three children had eaten a small amount of goby with shrimps, which their father had allegedly caught. They were rushed to the Camarines Norte Provincial Hospital, but were pronounced dead on arrival.
BFAR revealed that there are some 100 species of goby, most of which are poisonous. The toxin found in goby, also according to BFAR, is equivalent to cyanide and becomes even deadlier when cooked in vinegar.
An alarming number of children die from various forms of poisoning each year. Aside from the ingestion of poisonous foods, like berries, mushrooms, and fish, some of the more common causes of poisoning among children are medications. household products such as alcohol and bleach, and poisonous plants, among others.
“Every year millions of calls made are into poison control centers…and thousands of children are admitted to emergency departments,” states a fact sheet by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Additionally, according to UNICEF, the time between ingestion of poison and the appearance of clinical symptoms is crucial in treating a child who has been poisoned.
Parents should, therefore, know the signs and symptoms of poisoning, and have basic knowledge of first aid. Here are the few pointers enumerated by About Kids Health:
Common baby poison signs and symptoms
The following are the common baby poison signs and symptoms when accidental poisoning occurs:
- Difficulty breathing/swallowing
- Drowsiness or confusion
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rashes or burns around the mouth
- Unusual stains, and odors
- Empty medicine bottles
- Breath or clothing that smells like chemicals
First aid for poisoning
When your child shows signs of poisoning, it is better that you are equipped with knowledge about the first aid you must do. We listed some first-aid guides for poisoning.
- First and foremost protect yourself. Also, be very aware and careful not to breathe, taste, or touch the poisonous substance.
- If your child was in fumes exposure, get them out into fresh air immediately.
- Whenever a child ingested poison, give your child small sips of water but do not make them vomit.
- If your child has burns or poison touched his clothing, remove all clothing and flush the skin or eyes with water for 10-15 minutes.
- If you can’t identify the source, bring the container or (eg. medicine bottle) to the emergency room.
- Monitor your child’s breathing. If he stops breathing, perform CPR.
- Seek medical attention and follow instructions carefully.
Lead accidental poisoning in babies
Lead poisoning and its symptoms in babies happen when lead concentrates inside the body, usually, it takes over for months or even years to show the signs of lead poisoning. Even a small amount of lead content may result in serious health conditions.
Children below 6 years old, like babies, are more likely to be vulnerable to lead accidental poisoning and experience symptoms. This might seriously affect their mental and physical growth. Furthermore, a very high concentration of lead can be fatal.
Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older and dusty buildings are potential sources of lead. If you are off to go with this kind of place please be aware of the lead poisoning symptoms in babies and children. In addition, other sources may include contaminated air, water, and soil.
Furthermore, adults in your house who works with batteries, doing renovations, or in auto repair shops can experience exposure to lead. This may cause to lead accidental poisoning to the children and babies in the house.
Meanwhile, there are treatments for accidental lead poisoning but being cautious may help protect your family from this kind of poison. Also, you can protect your babies from lead exposure and accidental poisoning.
Lead accidental poisoning symptoms in babies
At first, lead accidental poisoning symptoms may be difficult to detect; babies and adults alike who seem healthy may have high blood levels of lead. Poison signs and symptoms in a baby may often don’t appear until perilous amounts were accumulated.
Baby poison signs and symptoms of lead accidental poisoning include:
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Carbon monoxide accidental poisoning in babies
Accidental carbon monoxide poisoning is an ailment that happens by inhaling carbon monoxide (CO) gas. In addition, carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas created when burning fuel. This fuel can include gasoline, coal, natural gas, and kerosene.
Moreover, inhaling carbon monoxide fumes prevent the body from using oxygen in a normal situation. This might affect the brain, heart, and other organs’ functions.
Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide accidental poisoning in babies
The following symptoms of carbon monoxide accidental poisoning may occur quite differently in each baby:
- headache and dizziness
- weakness or clumsiness
- nausea and vomiting
- pain in the chest
- loss of consciousness or being in a coma
- faster or irregular heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- loss of hiring
- blurry vision
- cardiac arrest
- respiratory problem
Accidental pesticide poisoning in babies
Normally, pesticides are toxic by default. Insecticides and rodenticides are the most common types of pesticides relevant to accidental pesticide poisoning.
Usually, accidental pesticide poisoning in babies is a condition that is underdiagnosed. The prevention of accidental pesticide poisoning is still a much surer path to safety precautions for the health of your child. Relying on treatment sometimes can be useless.
Symptoms of accidental pesticide poisoning in babies
The signs and symptoms that doctors may detect if babies are in accidental pesticide poisoning are the following:
- For skin – irritation, rash, contact dermatitis, blistering, sweating;
- To eyes – lacrimation, conjunctivitis, diplopia, Miosis;
- Cardiac – brady/ or tachycardia, arrhythmias, hypo/hypertension;
- Respiratory – nasal congestion, airway irritation, dyspnea, asthma exacerbation, pulmonary edema;
- Gastrointestinal – anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, salivation;
- And, in Neurological – skin paresthesias, muscles twitching, muscle twitching, tremor, dizziness, incoordination.
Ways you can do to avoid accidental poisoning in babies:
“All the same, the symptoms may be easily misdiagnosed or go unrecognized in a child. For this reason, there can be delay in treatment, with serious consequences. Poisoning is, therefore, best prevented,” UNICEF stressed.
The following is a list of preventive measures you can employ as advised by All About Kids Health and the University of the Philippines National Poison Management and Control Center (UPNPMC):
How to avoid accidental poisoning in babies at home?
Accordingly, numerous household items can be lethal and poisonous if you use them in a wrong way. Some households do not have any sense of precaution and baby-proofing in their home and it can lead to accidental poisoning in babies.
- Keep the items and substances like medicine, cleaning products, paints, chemicals, and even liquid cosmetics out of children’s reach. Then, label these items (if in generic containers) and keep them locked and/or away from food and play items.
- Always check the expiration dates of the medicines in your house and discard the expired ones.
- Buy medication with safety caps.
- Do not transfer medicine or other potentially poisonous products into food or beverage containers.
- Do not leave insect poison on the floor or anywhere your child can reach.
- Small children can easily ingest small batteries (especially the button-cell kind), causing very serious injury.
- Choose non-toxic products whenever possible.
- Follow instructions for the safe handling, use, storage, and disposal of products containing harmful substances
- Never mix chemicals unless specified in the instructions to avoid unwanted chemical reactions (eg. combining ammonia with bleach will yield poisonous gas)
- Ensure that the chemicals inside your house have tight caps and proper storage after use to avoid emission or spillage
- Do not remove poisonous products from their original containers and keep product labels or inserts. These labels could contain life-saving information.
- Have a first-aid kit ready and easily accessible in different parts of the home.
- Regularly wash children’s hands with soap. Clean toys and other items/places kids encounter daily, in order to minimize potential exposure to lead and other harmful chemicals.
However, even with these precautions and tips, babies may still get hurt. Being prepared will always guide you to act faster and confidently in times of emergency.
Philippine accidental poisoning and poison control hotlines
Therefore, if you know or suspect that your child has committed accidental poisoning, rush your child to the nearest hospital. Remember to show the doctors the original label containing the product’s information for the doctor’s reference.
You may also seek help from the UPNPMC at 524-1078, 554-8400 local 2311, 0922-896154; or the Poison Control Office at (02) 524 1078. The Poison Control Office is located in Philippine General Hospital.
Additional information by Nathanielle Torre
Here at theAsianparent Philippines, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advise or medical treatment. theAsianparent Philippines is not responsible to those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend to consult your doctor for clearer information.