Poisoning

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In Canada each year an estimated 7 children under the age of 14 die and close to 1700 end up in hospitals with serious injuries due to poisoning. At the Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Center the Emergency Department sees more than 100 children under 5 years of age with injuries related to poisonings annually. Most unintentional childhood poisonings occurs in the home.
 
According to Health Canada, the most common sources of poisoning in children under 4 years old are:
  • Medication, such as Tylenol, Aspirin, cold medicine, vitamins and prescription drugs
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Personal care products, such as perfume, nail polish or nail polish remover and soap
  • Cleaning products
Other substances include:

Other substances include:

  • Pesticides
  • Anti-freeze
  • Plants 
  • Cigarettes 
  • Camphor (which can be found in some medications)
  • Essential oils
  • Smoke
  • Lead
How to prevent your young child from being poisoned

How to prevent your young child from being poisoned

Watch out video about poisoning with MCH toxicologist, Dr. Dominic Chalut.


Do not leave your child unsupervised in your home or at other family members’ or friends’ homes.
Parents should follow these recommendations to prevent poisoning:

Parents should follow these recommendations to prevent poisoning:

  • Keep all medication, household cleaners and other toxic products locked up and out of reach of children.
  • Use locks and latches for cupboards.
  • Keep medication in its original child resistant package.
  • Do not have any poisonous plants in the home.  
  • Strictly follow age, weight, and frequency directions on all medications, including over the counter medications. 
  • Return outdated medication to a pharmacy for proper disposal.
  • Do not have young children present when using cleaning products.  
What to do if you suspect your child has been poisoned

What to do if you suspect your child has been poisoned

Call the Québec Poison Control Centre immediately at 1-800-463-5060. Keep this number by your phone at all times.
Upon arrival to the emergency department provide an accurate timeline of the events and a clear history. This is essential in order to ensure a more positive outcome. Bring the product or medication with you.
Related Articles

Related Articles

 
 
Reviewed by Trauma specialists at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Last updated: July 2013, January 2016

Trauma

Phone : 514-412-4400 ext. 23310

Fax : 514-412-4254

514-412-4499, Emergency Department (for patient transfer) / 514-412-4399 (fax)