Children at risk of accidents and exposure to poisons in the home - Children's Health Ireland statement

Statement from Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) 10th April 2020

Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) know that the current guidelines for physical and social distancing are difficult with families spending more time in the house together for prolonged periods.

We know too that children are inquisitive and adventurous and as a result are at risk of accidents and exposure to poisons.

We would like to remind families that children are at risk of accidents and exposure to poisons in the home.

The paediatric emergency departments (ED) in CHI have noted an increase in children presenting with accidental ingestions of medicines and household items during the past few  weeks. 

We would like to remind parents and guardians that all medicines, cleaning agents and hand sanitizers should be kept securely out of the reach of young children, as these can be very dangerous.

If your child ingests a medicine or household agent and you are concerned they may have been poisoned the national poisons information centre runs a parent helpline from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

If your child becomes suddenly unwell following ingestion of a medicine or poison you should go to the nearest ED and bring the medicine or agent ingested with you.

Our emergency departments at Crumlin and Temple Street are open 24/7 for children who are  ill or injured and require emergency assessment. 

Keeping a list of medications in your home can help if they become ill and need to attend our emergency department.

Further information is available on on what to do if your child is exposed to poison.

By everyone staying at home we will stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to protect our patients, healthcare workers and each other and ultimately save lives.

Last updated on: 10 / 04 / 2020