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Despite being used daily, detergent is a potentially dangerous product, especially if ingested, as detergent contains substances in its composition that are toxic and irritating to the body, such as phosphate, silicates, stain removers and foam modifiers, artificial colors and fragrances and alcohols.
In this way, when ingesting a small or large amount of detergent it is possible that there are he alth consequences, and it is important that first aid is initiated:
- Immediately call SAMU, dialing 192, if the person is not conscious;
- Call the poisoning center indicated on the product label, so that you have the proper guidelines, it is important to indicate which product was ingested and the amount ingested and symptoms presented;
- Keep the person comfortable until help arrives.
Although this accident can happen in adults, it is more frequent in children and, therefore, it is important that cleaning products are stored in a place that is difficult for children to access and that they are kept in their original packaging, as this way, in case of an accident, it is possible to give more precise information about the ingested product.
In addition, it is recommended that water or milk not be given, as there may be greater absorption of the product, increasing the risk of consequences, as it is not recommended to induce vomiting.
How treatment is done in the hospital
Medical treatment performed at the hospital depends on the type of detergent used, quantity of product and symptoms presented. Normally, the person remains in hospital so that their heart and respiratory rate, blood pressure and amount of oxygen are monitored. In some cases, it may be necessary for the person to stay in the hospital for up to 2 days to check for worsening he alth status.
Also, during treatment, the doctor may recommend:
- Remedies to prevent vomiting, such as metoclopramide or activated charcoal;
- Stomach lavage to remove toxic product;
- Give IV drip to maintain water and electrolyte balance;
- Give medication to treat seizures with diazepam and if necessary medication to keep the heart rate steady;
- Use an oxygen mask to help you breathe better or use other devices to help you breathe.
In the case of children, it is common for parents to accompany the child to the hospital, helping to control anxiety and fear.
Symptoms of detergent poisoning
After the ingestion of detergent, the person may present some signs and symptoms, the severity of which may vary according to the amount consumed and the age of the person, being more common for children to present more severe symptoms. The main signs and symptoms indicative of detergent poisoning are:
- Strange-smelling breath;
- Too much saliva or foam at the mouth;
- Tummy ache, nausea and diarrhea;
- Vomiting sometimes with blood;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Face, lips and nails bluish and pale;
- Cold and sweating;
- Drowsy and unwillingness to play;
- Delusions with meaningless conversations and strange behavior;
In the case of a child, if you have not seen him/her ingesting the detergent but he/she presents some of these symptoms or finds the container open, you may suspect that he/she has been ingested and you should act in the same way, asking medical help quickly.
How to prevent
To prevent poisoning from detergent or other cleaning products, it is important to store them in a place that is difficult for children to access, keep the product labels and keep them in the packaging itself, avoiding using food containers or other empty packaging to storage. In addition, it is recommended to avoid storing cleaning products close to drinks or food.