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First Aid for Poisoning

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First-Aid for Poisoning


Most poisonings are preventable, and every effort should be made to poison-proof your home. However, if someone in your home is exposed to a poison the following information is intended to help you do the right thing as quickly as possible.


Keep Calm
Act quickly. Action is the most important factor in first aid if you suspect poisoning.



Inhaled Poisons

  • Get the person to fresh air right away.
  • Do NOT breathe the fumes yourself.


Poison on the Skin

  • Remove clothing.
  • Rinse skin with running water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If substance is oily, use soap and water.

Poison in the Eyes

  • Lay person on a solid surface. Do NOT lay them in a bathtub or shower.
  • Hold eyelid open, drip room temperature water into eye (across the bridge of the nose) for a full 15 minutes. Do NOT use medicated eye drops.
  • Do NOT use pressurized water (for example, water from a sink sprayer or faucet).
  • Do NOT allow person to rub his or her eyes.


Swallowed Poison/Meds

  • Remove material from mouth.
  • Examine the mouth for cuts, burns swelling, unusual coloring or odor.
  • Rinse and wipe out the mouth with a cloth.
  • Do NOT give anything to eat or drink before calling the poison center.


Call the Poison Center immediately after performing any of the above listed first aid methods, 

Poison Center: 1-800-222-1222



  • Using home remedies like salt water, baking soda, lemon juice or mustard for poisoning emergencies may be dangerous and they usually do not work.
  • Treatment advice found on product labels is often wrong or outdated.



Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by the Poison Center or your doctor.

The Oklahoma Center for Poison & Drug Information is a free, confidential resource that is open 24/7/365, and can communicate with callers in more than 150 languages.  The Poison Center is staffed by pharmacists, doctors and nurses who are nationally certified as Specialists in Poison Information.


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The text content of this web page has been created by the
Oklahoma Center for Poison & Drug Information

The Poison Center is a program
of the University of Oklahoma
College of Pharmacy at OU Health Sciences Center

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