First Aid and Treatment Recommendations | Illinois Poison Center 

First Aid and Treatment Recommendations

Nov 23, 2020
Print This Page



Treatment for a poison emergency will depend on the situation.  First aid steps will depend on the person’s or patient’s age, size and the type and amount of substance.


If The Person Is Not Conscious or Not Breathing:


  1.  Call 911 immediately.
  2.  Remove the substance in question from the person’s eyes, skin or mouth. 
  3.  Move yourself/the person away from poisonous gas, fumes and/or vapors.


Warning: Sometimes, it may be too dangerous to rescue someone from an area that is filled with poisonous gas, fumes and/or vapors. The 911 operator will tell you what to do.


If The Person Is Conscious and Breathing:


  1. Call 1-800-222-1222 right away.  Do not wait for  symptoms to appear or for the person to feel, look or act sick.
  2. Be ready to answer questions about the person’s age, weight, regular medications and any health conditions.
  3. Have the substance or its container with you when you call the poison center, if possible.
  4. If you are told to go to the emergency room, take the substance and/or its container with you to show the doctor.



First Aid Recommendations


  • Poison In The Mouth: 
  1. Do not make the person vomit or give the victim something to eat or drink unless the poison center tells you to. 
  2. Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222 even if the substance in question was not swallowed.  
  3. CAUTION: Some out-of-date first-aid charts may contain incorrect treatment information. DO NOT give raw eggs, salt, vinegar or ipecac to induce vomiting or to neutralize the potentially poisonous substance. These treatments are not only ineffective, but may be extremely dangerous.


  • Poison On The Skin:  
  1. Take off clothes that have the substance on them.  Wash these clothes separately.  
  2. First, rinse the skin very well with water, then wash the skin gently with soap and water.
  3. Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.  


  • Poison In The Eye: 
  1. Remove contact lenses if worn.  
  2. Rinse the eyes with tepid water for 15 minutes.  Open and close the eyes while rinsing. Make sure the water runs into the eye(s).
  3. Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.


  • Poison In The Air:
  1. Leave the area immediately and move to a place where you can breathe fresh air.  
  2. Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.


Click here for a free Complimentary Packet (includes: first aid recommendations tear off sheet, sticker and magnet with the IPC hotline number).

Keywords: first aid, vomit, puke,
Bookmark and Share