How to tell if your child has been poisoned

Medical Toxicologist Cyrus Rangan, MD, shares advice for parents on the signs and symptoms that may indicate that your child has been poisoned and what to do to help your child
Symptoms of Poisoning - How To Tell If Child Has Been Poisoned
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How to tell if your child has been poisoned

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A child may be exposed to a poison in a home under many different circumstances. Sometimes, the child has an ingestion that we witness and in that case we know what the child may have taken and we can proceed from there. Sometimes a child takes an unwitnessed ingestion or has an unwitnessed toxic exposure. In these cases, it can be very difficult to determine whether or not the child has actually gotten into a poison or not. And it can be just as difficult even for a doctor to make that determination. One thing that we can do at home is to say to ourselves, “If the child was looking well and over the course of several minutes or even several hours, suddenly starts to have very unusual symptoms, this may be the indication that a child has been poisoned.” For example, if the child has difficulty walking, or difficulty speaking, difficulty breathing or decline in their mental alertness – these are the kinds of signs that the child may have gotten into a serious poison. If you’re unsure about any of these symptoms as they develop in your child, give us a call at Poison Control. We can help walk you through this situation and determine whether a poisoning might have taken a place. If that’s the case, we can advise you to get to the nearest emergency department and receive medical care.

Medical Toxicologist Cyrus Rangan, MD, shares advice for parents on the signs and symptoms that may indicate that your child has been poisoned and what to do to help your child

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Cyrus Rangan, MD

Medical Toxicologist, Poison Control

Cyrus Rangan, MD, is a pediatrician and medical toxicologist. Cyrus serves as the Assistant Medical Director with the California Poison Control System and medical toxicology consultant for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Over 70% of the calls received at the center are able to stay at home and avoid a visit to the hospital, based on the over-the-phone support of the center. Cyrus is also the father of two boys, age seven and four, with whom he enjoys practicing Kung Fu. 

Poisons, Baby Safety, Poisons, Poison
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