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When Should I Call Poison Control? Top Full Guide 2023

When Should I Call Poison Control Top Full Guide 2023
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When should I call poison control? If you think you or someone else may have been exposed to a poisonous substance, call Poison Control immediately. It will help determine if there is a risk of severe health effects and what should be done.

Children are curious from the moment they are born, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to child-proof everything. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are frequently packaged in child-resistant rather than child-proof packaging. Most children will be able to open these packages or bottles without problem if given just a minute or two.

A child’s natural curiosity leads them to investigate their surroundings by tasting, touching, smelling, and observing. Yet, this curiosity can lead to trouble, especially regarding common household risks.

We chatted with Bryan Kuhn, a clinical pharmacist and poison information specialist with Banner Poison & Drug Information Center, to learn more about when calling is the best option for your child’s exposure to a domestic threat.

Every year, Banner Poison Control receives more than 55,000 calls, according to Dr. Kuhn. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, more than 70% of those who call get the treatment they need without going to the doctor or the hospital.

“We have a massive database of opened and closed cases,” Dr. Kuhn explained, “We constantly follow up days, weeks, and even months later to ensure callers are still doing well.”

If you have any concerns, call Poison Control right once, according to Dr. Kuhn, especially if:

  • You believe someone has been exposed to a toxin.
  • Someone has taken an unidentified drug over the recommended dosage.
  • Someone has overdosed, and you’ve given a drug to counteract the overdose.
  • Someone has been stung or bitten by a potentially venomous creature.
  • You require assistance with first aid.
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While it may seem convenient to seek answers to your queries online, Dr. Kuhn advised that there’s no substitute for speaking with a skilled medical practitioner.

“Rather than self-diagnosing online, call Banner Poison Control to speak with a certified physician who can help you determine your child’s height and weight indicate your circumstance,” Dr. Kuhn advised. “It can provide a real-time response with less ambiguity and more specificity.”

4 Reasons to Call Poison Control: (800) 222-1222

1. Swallowed Poisons: These include a variety of common household toxins and, according to Dr. Kuhn, account for the majority of poison control calls each year. Everything from batteries to essential oils to a sibling’s medications is an example.

Call Banner Poison Control if you think your child has swallowed something. The nurse or pharmacist there will assist you in determining whether you should take your child to the emergency department or wait and see.

2. Skin-Contact with Poison: Skin-Contact with Poison calls can range from children playing with dead rodents or cockroach traps to superglue on the skin, and they usually require simple first aid, according to Dr. Kuhn.

Call Banner Poison Control if you’re unsure if an insect bite or sting merits a trip to the doctor or if you have any other worries about a poison coming into touch with your child’s skin. They can advise you on what symptoms to watch for and when to bring your child in for a face-to-face consultation.

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4 Reasons to Call Poison Control (800) 222-1222

3. Inhaled Poisons: According to Dr. Kuhn, most calls about inhaled poisons in children are about fumes from household cleaners, insecticides, herbicides, or another airborne infection, but they can also be about dangerous medicine overdoses.

Dr. Kuhn advised phoning Banner Poison Control for an inhaled poison from outside to ensure you didn’t inhale the poison while on the phone. Inhaled poisons usually cause symptoms almost immediately. Thus Banner Poison Control should be able to help you figure out what to expect straight away.

4. Poison Contact in the Eyes: most of these cases involve contact with home cleaners, insecticides, or herbicides, while it also receives calls for superglue and glows stick liquid in the eyes. Accidentally applying medicinal ear drops in the eye or vice versa is also a common occurrence.

A 15-minute eye rinse is the first step in any eye-related call to Poison Control, so don’t be startled if the operator tells you to call back after your child has finished the rinse.

Dr. Kuhn recommends holding your child in the shower for 15 minutes while the water hits their forehead if you don’t believe they’ll remain still for the rinse. When it comes to the eyes, you’ll usually be looking for burns or scratches on the cornea, which you may do after the eye-rinse is finished.

How Do Poison Control Centers work?

Call 800-222-1222 to reach all poison control centers. This number is national and free of charge. You can use it to contact the centers in any part of the United States. The centers are open 24 hours, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

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You can reach them by phone and speak with pharmacists, nurses, or healthcare providers. They can provide emergency advice in over 150 languages. They can also communicate with the deaf.

How Do Poison Control Centers work

The staff at the poison control center can help you determine what to do if there has been a poisoning. They are also available to answer any questions about poisonous substances. They can offer advice and tips to help you avoid a poison emergency.

You may not need to visit your healthcare provider or go to the hospital quickly if you follow their advice. After receiving a poisoning emergency call, staff at the center follow up. They ensure that the patient is well and there are no new symptoms.

When Should You Call 9-1-1 Instead of Poison Control?

If you or a loved one has consumed a hazardous substance or taken too many pills or other medications, you may feel compelled to look out for the antidote on the internet. If you come across someone who has stopped breathing, is having a seizure, or isn’t responding to normal stimuli, you should skip poison control and phone 9-1-1 to have paramedics arrive on the site for immediate medical assistance.

This is because your poison control professional may take a few minutes to respond to your inquiries after determining their age and weight, among other vital considerations.

When Should You Call 9-1-1 Instead of Poison Control

These people should be taken to an emergency room as soon as possible:

  • Children under the age of six months
  • Over-the-hill seniors (those over the age of 79)
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Suicidal people who wanted to harm themselves
  • There was more than one substance consumed.
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Similarly, if you consumed the hazardous chemical for purposes, such as in a self-harm or suicide attempt, you should be evaluated by paramedics en way to the hospital. You should call 9-1-1 for assistance if the person is very young, such as an infant or above 79, as these people have unique needs.

Remember that your loved one can receive emergency care in the ambulance while on the way to the hospital, and you can then contact poison control later.


What should you avoid doing if you’ve been poisoned?


  • Give anything to an unconscious individual by mouth.
  • Do not induce vomiting unless the Poison Control Center or a doctor advises you to.
  • Unless the Poison Control Center or a doctor instructs you otherwise, do not attempt to neutralize the poison with lemon juice, vinegar, or any other chemical.

How long does poison take to cause symptoms?

Poisoning Symptoms Arrive Late

Because it works so slowly, it could take up to 12 hours for the first symptoms to appear (no appetite when usually hungry, nausea, and vomiting).

when should i call poison control

How can you tell if you’ve been poisoned?

Poisoning can cause the following symptoms:

  • I’m wary of feeling unwell.
  • Diarrhea
  • stomach ache
  • Sleepiness, dizziness, or weakness are all symptoms of drowsiness.
  • a very high-temperature
  • shivers (shivering)
  • a lack of appetite
  • Headache.


When poison control is not available, you have a few options. You can continue to monitor the victim until EMS arrives and the paramedics can make the proper diagnosis, or you can take the victim to the nearest emergency room for treatment. HereOfamily hopes you find this helpful information, and please feel free to send me any questions or comments.

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