Toss That Ipecac

Toss That Ipecac

What should you do if your child swallows something toxic?  Traditional advice used to be to keep a bottle of syrup of Ipecac at home for just such an emergency.  At the 2003 annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics the official recommendation of the AAP has changed.

Newer techniques are safer and more effective.  Throw away your Ipecac. If your child swallows something suspicious call the closest Poison Control Center immediately.  This is better than calling 911. In the U.S. (800) 222-1222 is a toll-free number that will automatically send your call to the closest Poison Control Center.

But preventing poisoning is better than treating it.

Among the most common poisonings are medicines – your child’s or someone else’s in the house.  Common household products can also pose a threat.  Dispose of medicines and household products you no longer need. And never refer to medicine as candy even if getting your child to take it poses a problem.


Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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