Poisoning in children

You can become poisoned in different ways. Through the airways and lungs, just think of inhaling smoke, vapor or gases. By mouth and you can even become poisoned through the skin or eyes. Some substances can be absorbed into the body through the skin and cause a more intense reaction. Below are a number of common poisonings that occur frequently in children.

Petroleum distillates

This includes gasoline, turpentine and lamp oil. Here, not only is ingesting it harmful, but even inhaling a drop can be very harmful. Therefore, vomiting must be prevented, otherwise there is a greater chance that something will enter the lungs.

Tobacco or nicotine (chewing gum)

It often happens that small children find a cigarette or butt and eat it. Half a cigarette or butt is harmless. For a one-year-old child, there is a risk of poisoning if he or she eats four cigarettes (from a pack) or eight butts, two self-rolled rolling tobacco or five butts of this or one home-made cigarette made of heavy rolling tobacco or three butts of this.
Nicotine gum is more dangerous for them than cigarettes. You can make the child vomit by irritating the back wall of the throat.

Steel tablets

Depending on the weight of the child, some iron pills can lead to very serious injuries that can sometimes be fatal. Try to make the child vomit immediately; it is also advisable to contact a doctor immediately because further treatment in the hospital is necessary.

Salicylates (aspirin)

In small children, taking just a few tablets can cause serious symptoms of poisoning. Here too it depends on how much the child has had and how heavy it is.
Try to induce vomiting and contact a doctor. Further treatment in hospital is required.


Here too, some tablets can suffer serious poisoning. Here too, it depends on how many tablets the child has eaten and how heavy the child is. Here too, try to induce vomiting in the child and call a doctor. Further treatment in hospital is often necessary.

Poisoning through the lungs

Symptoms of poisoning may also occur after inhaling toxic gases or vapors. These symptoms can occur in the lungs themselves or elsewhere in the body. This often happens after inhaling chlorine, ammonia, hydrochloric acid or sulfur dioxide.
It is often impossible to determine how much of this they have inhaled and observation in a hospital is necessary.

Fluid in the eyes

If toxic fluids have come into your eye, you should immediately cool your eye with water for at least ten minutes. This may involve lye, acid, soap or chlorine.
Afterwards, you should at least consult with a doctor about taking the next steps.

NOT harmful products.

There is also a group of products that are not harmful when ingested. At most, they may cause some nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting, but no further treatment is required.

  • ink, ballpoint pen, felt-tip pen or fountain pen
  • cosmetics
  • eraser
  • candles
  • clay granules (often found in planters)
  • chalk
  • wallpaper glue
  • matches
  • shoe polish
  • silica gel
  • starch
  • watercolor



In the event of possible poisoning, even if you, as a parent, do not know exactly how much of a certain product your child has ingested or are not sure whether a certain product is poisonous, it is always best to consult a doctor. Don’t wait until the child gets sick first, and as a parent don’t be too quick to think that you can wait it out a little longer.

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