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Dr Kenneth Tan Boon Kiat, Associate Consultant, Department of Emergency Medicine, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group explains tells you what can to do in case of accidental poisoning and tips to safely handle household items.

What to do in case of accidental poisoning

If a family member suffers from accidental poisoning at home and stops breathing, or experiences any other extreme symptoms, immediately call 995 for an ambulance.

For mild cases of accidental poisoning at home, you may want to call your GP.

Water, juice or milk may be given to the patient to dilute and reduce the taste of the product. If the household poison has splashed on the patient, washing the poison off should clear the symptoms.

Home safety: Tips to safely handle household items

You can promote safety at home with the following tips:

  • Do not mix household chemicals such as detergents and bleach together.
  • Do not store cleaning products and food in the same cabinet.
  • Always store household chemicals away from children's reach and sight.
  • Do not leave household chemicals unattended whilst in use. If you’re interrupted whilst you’re using household chemicals, don’t lose sight of them. If you need to leave the room, take them with you.
  • Always store products, including medicines, in their original containers and packaging. Never store detergents or other household chemicals in cups or mineral water bottles.
  • Leave the original labels on all products, including medicines.
  • Follow the directions and warnings on the label before using the product.
  • Never refer to medicines as candy.
  • Throw away unused and expired medicines.
  • Before using pesticides, remove children’s toys from the area. Keep them away until the pesticide has dried, or as recommended by the label.
  • Avoid breathing in the fumes of pesticides and wash your hands immediately after using them.

Ref: R14