Protect children from poisoning

What should you do when a child has swallowed dangerous household products by mistake? What steps should be taken to prevent this happening in the first place? Pearls of wisdom like "drink milk" or "make the child vomit" can have serious health consequences in the case of a harmless mistake. Cases of poisoning must be treated by experts - in line with the severity and type of poisoning. The brochure "Risk of poisoning accidents involving children" published by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment gives parents advice on the first things to do when a child has accidentally poisoned itself. It contains tips on the safe storage of liquid grill lighters, drain cleaners or medicinal products to ensure that they don’t constitute a danger for children. Important emergency numbers are also listed and there are instruction leaflets for dealing with poisoning accidents involving children. The brochure was prepared in cooperation with the Berlin poison emergency hotline and the Federal Association "More Safety for Children" and is available in german language  free of charge from BfR.

Accidents are the biggest health risk for children. Falls head the list but poisoning also occurs frequently. According to the experts most of these accidents could be avoided if parents, educators and teachers were informed of the risks. The new BfR brochure outlines the risks to children posed by chemical products, toys, medicines, plants and mushrooms in the home. The brochure contains not only tips on the child-proof storage of chemical products but also information that can save lives in an emergency. If, for instance, a child has mistakenly swallowed drain cleaner, it should be given tea, water or juice but, under no circumstances, should it be made to vomit. To speed up access to medical advice on further treatment, the brochure lists the addresses of the German poison treatment and information centres as well as additional emergency numbers.

The brochure is available in german language free of charge from the Press Office of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Thielallee 88-92, 14195 Berlin, Tel. +49-(0)30-18412-4877, Fax +49-(0)30-18412-4970, For orders of more than 10 copies, the Institute charges €2 for each additional copy.

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