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Accidental ingestion


Your child has accidentally ingested (eaten or swallowed) the following. (Record it here).

Most children with accidental ingestions do not come to harm as a result and treatment is not usually required.
After observing your child in the emergency department and reviewing the information on the national ToxBase poisons information database, we are happy that your child does not need any further treatment or observation and can be discharged home.


    What should I do at home?


    Once you get home you should keep a close eye for the following symptoms. (Record the symptoms here).

    If you notice any of these, or any of the red flag features below, come back to hospital as soon as possible, as your child may need some further observation or treatment.


    Red flag symptoms


    If your child develops any of the following:

    • Changes in behaviour.
    • Vomiting.
    • Difficulty in breathing or noisy breathing.
    • Tummy pain.
    • Blood in poo (stools).
    • Abnormalities that you can see in the mouth.
    • Pain or difficulty in swallowing.

    Please bring them back to the emergency department as soon as possible.


      Safety tips for medication and household chemicals


      Medication general tips and storage

      Child safety caps aren’t completely child proof. Although they slow children down, they won’t always stop your child from getting into the bottle.

      Keep all medication out of children’s reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.

      keep them high up and hidden if stored in a fridge.

      Don’t keep medications on your bedside table or in your bag – this is a favourite place for toddlers to find tablets.

      Keep all medicines in their original containers, and take extra care with see-through packets or brightly coloured tablets, as these can look like sweets and are especially tempting to children. Never pretend medications are sweets.

      Take any old or left over medication to your local chemist for them to throw away safely.

      Storing household chemicals and products

      Keep laundry, cleaning products, and other chemicals such as paint, white spirit and weed killers on a high shelf out of reach of children or in a cupboard with child resistant catches.

      Never keep them under the sink, on the floor or by the toilet.

      Try to buy cleaning products with child-resistant caps that contain Bitrex, a product that is added to cleaning agents that produces a bitter taste if ingested.

      Remember to always dispose of empty containers safely and out of your child’s reach.

      Remember that cigarettes, alcohol, perfume, aromatherapy oils and mouthwash can all be poisonous to children. Remember to keep these dangerous items out of their sight.


        Useful resources


        Link to the Child Accident Prevention Trust: www.capt.org.uk

        Link to ROSPA: https://www.rospa.com

        Always dial 999 for an ambulance in an emergency.

        Practice Plus  (Brighton walk-in centre / GP service). Open 8am till 8pm, 7 days a week including bank holidays. Tel: 0300 130 3333
        Link to Practice Plus: www.practiceplusbrightonstation.nhs.uk/

        For Out of Hours GP Service ring NHS 111

        Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital
        Tel: 01273 696955 Ext. 2593 Children’s Emergency Department

        Please be aware that CED staff will not be able to give you medical advice for your child over the phone but can direct you to an appropriate service to assist with your enquiry.

        Disclaimer: The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

          Publication Date: January 2021

          Review Date: October 2023

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