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What To Do

Ingested poison can be anything from swallowing hand sanitizer or berries to chemicals or medication. What steps should you take if someone swallows bleach, paint thinner, or another toxic substance? Some poisonous substances can act quickly once ingested. When someone swallows poison, it is best to stay calm and call for poison help.

If someone swallows poison, follow these first aid steps:
  1. Call 911 if the person is unconscious, having seizures, or has trouble breathing.
  2. Do not induce vomiting and do not give them anything to drink.
  3. Wipe out their mouth with a damp cloth and or let them rinse their mouth out with water.
  4. If the person is awake and alert, call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for further treatment advice. Be prepared with important information such as the individual’s name, age, weight, and condition. If possible, bring the bottle or packaging to the phone.


Do not wait for symptoms to start before calling the poison center. Fast, free confidential assistance is available 24/7/365.

Other Poison Routes

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Take The Missouri Poison Center With You

Emergencies don’t wait for you, so you shouldn’t have to wait to call for help. Get the Missouri Poison Center app with poison information and a link to the Poison Help Line. It is just a click away during the most stressful moments. Our registered nurses and pharmacists are here 24/7/365 days a year to help guide you through poison exposures and overdose emergencies.

Don’t wait. Download now.

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