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Emergency Action for Poisoning

First steps after an accidental exposure

confused person
  1. Remain calm.
  2. For unconscious patients, convulsions, or any difficulty breathing, call 911.
  3. Otherwise call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Be prepared to provide

  • Age and weight of the person.
  • What was ingested. Have the bottle or container with you.
  • How much was taken. This will help the Poison Center Specialist determine the severity of the incident.
  • How the victim is feeling or acting right now.
  • Your name and phone number.


Flood the eye with lukewarm water and repeat for 15 minutes. Encourage patient to blink while flushing the eye. Do not force the eyelid open.

Swallowed medicine

Do not give anything by mouth until calling for advice

Chemical or household products

Unless patient is unconscious, having convulsions, or cannot swallow, give a small amount of water. Then call for professional advice to find out if the patient should be made to vomit. Do not induce vomiting unless recommended by your physician or the Poison Center.


Immediately get the patient to fresh air. Avoid breathing fumes. Open doors and windows. If the victim is not breathing, call for help and start assisted (mouth-to-mouth) breathing.


Remove contaminated clothing, then flood skin with water for 15 minutes. Then wash gently with soap and water and rinse.