Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I think someone’s been poisoned?
- Follow the first aid instructions if you can.
Then call right away!
- The poison center experts will tell you exactly what to do. Then they will
follow-up with you by phone to be sure that everything is all right.
- DO NOT wait to call! If you call right away, the problem can often be taken care of over the phone.
Don't wait for symptoms!
Why should I call the poison center?
- The poison experts are at the poison center, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When your health care provider has a question about poisons, he or she probably calls the poison
- When you call the poison center for a poison emergency, your problem can probably be taken care of over the phone. This is much faster and cheaper than calling an ambulance and going to the emergency room.
- If you do need hands-on care, the poison center will call an ambulance for you, give treatment advice to the ambulance crew, then call the emergency department
so they’re ready for your arrival.
How can I be prepared for a poison emergency?
- Call your poison center at . The poison center can send you telephone stickers or magnets with the emergency phone number. Post that number on or near your telephones.
- Ask your poison center what to keep on hand for a possible poisoning. They might recommend
ipecac syrup and/or activated charcoal.
You can buy these medicines without a prescription. Use them ONLY if the poison center tells you to.