What to do in case of poisoning

Immediately call the New Zealand National Poisons Centre at 0800 764 766 (0800 POISON).

This is a toll-free emergency service that’s available 24/7. 

  • Try to stay calm and get the container of the substance your child has ingested ready to describe over the phone to the Poison Centre staff. 
  • Don’t try to make your child vomit or give them any food or liquid until you speak to the Poison Centre. 
  • The Poison Centre will provide advice about first aid treatment and whether you should take your little one to the hospital.  

When to dial 111

Phone 111 for an ambulance if you think your child has ingested something poisonous and:

  • your child is unconscious or having trouble breathing 
  • you're worried about your child 
  • the Poisons Centre has told you to call 111. 

Prevention

You can protect your child from dangerous chemicals that may harm them by securing your home and making it safer for your whānau. 

Address potential hazards around the home 

  • Keep all cleaning supplies, including dishwasher and laundry powder/liquids, out of your child’s reach. 
  • Check the paint on older furniture, toys and houses. If the paint is lead-based, it can poison babies and young children. 
  • Use safety latches on cupboards. 

Medication safety 

  • Make sure you give the correct dose of medication for your child’s age and weight. Too much medication can seriously harm or kill your child. 
  • Keep medications in safe place that is high up and out of your child’s reach. It’s best to keep it in a locked cupboard. Remember as your child grows they may learn to climb and so you may need to find a new storage place. 
  • Ask your pharmacist to place medications in packaging with child safety caps. 
  • Child resistant packaging can help prevent poisoning, but it is not child-proof. All medicines and poisons will need to be locked away. 
  • Dispose of medications you no longer need. 
First aid for poisoning

National Poisons Centre

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New Zealand's only poison and hazardous chemicals information centre.

Need free support or advice?

Call PlunketLine 24/7 on 0800 933 922