Perhaps nowhere is preventive medicine more important than in poisoning in children.

Many instances could be prevented if adults took more care with dangerous drugs and chemicals. Most cases of childhood poisoning take place in the home and involve drugs and common household chemicals.

All dangerous articles should be stored under lock and key. Placing them high up on shelves and cupboards may not be safe — small, inquisitive children can climb on chairs and reach the contents.

There are some simple rules with which all parents should be familiar so that they can deal quickly and effectively with a case of poisoning in their children.

• Check the bottle to discover the contents and try to estimate how much has been taken.

Ring the Poisons Information Centre in your State. This is listed in the front of the telephone book and is usually manned 24 hours a day. You will then be told the correct first aid measure, the approximate dangerous dose and advised whether medical, aid should be sought.


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