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Poison Center Helpline 1-800-222-1222

First Aid

If you suspect a poisoning, call 1-800-222-1222 right away.

A "poison" can be any substance that can give you an unexpected or unwanted reaction. There's no issue too big or small just call! The call is confidential and free.

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

If the person is not conscious or not breathing:

  • Call 911 right away.
  • Take the potentially harmful/poisonous substance away from the person’s eyes, skin or mouth.
  • Take the person away from potentially poisonous fumes.

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

If the person is conscious and breathing:

  • Call 1-800-222-1222 right away even if you're not sure and only suspect that someone's been exposed to something potentially harmful/poisonous.  Do not wait for the person to get sick.   
  • Be ready to answer questions about the person’s age, sex, weight and health.   
  • If possible, have the substance in question with you when you call the poison center.   
  • If you are told to go to the emergency room, take the poison or its container with you to show the doctor.

First Aid Recommendations

Poison in the Mouth:

  • Do not make the person vomit or give the patient anything to eat or drink unless the poison center tells you to do so.     
  • Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222 even if the potentially harmful/poisonous substance was not actually swallowed.

Caution: Some out-of-date first-aid charts may contain incorrect treatment information. Do not give raw eggs, salt, vinegar or citrus fruit juices to induce vomiting or to neutralize the poison. These treatments are not only ineffective, but may be extremely dangerous.

Poison on the Skin:

  • Take off clothes that could have come into contact with the substance on them. You will want to wash these clothes separately later.  
  • Rinse the skin very well with water. Then wash the skin gently with soap and water. Pat dry.  
  • Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.

Click here for First Aid for Eyes.

Poison in the Air:

  • Open windows and doors to let in fresh air.
  • Leave the area and move to a place where you can breathe fresh air.  Help others leave the area, but be careful not to breathe the gas or vapor yourself.  
  • Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.
Click here for a free Complimentary Safety Packet (includes sticker, magnet and first aid tips for poisonings.

Poison Center HelplineCalls are free and confidential.

  1. In Case of Emergency

    Call 911 if someone is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing.

  2. Remain Calm

    Most poison emergencies can be resolved quickly over the phone.

  3. Call the Helpline

    Call 1-800-222-1222 if you are concerned that you or someone else has been exposed to a potentially harmful substance.