Dr. Oz’s Emergency Handbook: Poisoning

Not all poisons are plainly marked with a skull and crossbones. In fact, many of the seemingly harmless household products we use every day are poisonous, which is why poisoning is the #1 cause of death by injury in America’s homes. Dr. Oz wants to arm you with the facts, that’s why he’s sharing the secrets of the ER. Learn how to think clearly, act fast and save lives.

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In order to know when and how to treat someone who has come into contact with a poisonous substance, you must first be familiar with what a poison is. Poison comes in 4 forms: solids (such as pills or tablets), liquids (such as gasoline), sprays (such as household spray cleansers) and gases (such as carbon monoxide). Some examples of common poisons are:

  • Alcohol
  • Prescription, over-the-counter and illegal drugs
  • Food supplements, like vitamins, minerals and herbal products
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover
  • Mouthwash
  • Drain and toilet bowl cleaners
  • Bites and stings, including snake and spider bites and wasp and bee stings

Additionally, poisons can be identified if it causes harm to someone when:

  1. Used in the wrong way.
  2. Used by the wrong person (in the case of prescription medicines).
  3. Used in the wrong amount.

Make sure the phone numbers you need to know in case of a poison emergency are posted near kitchen and bathroom telephones. Visit the Poison Help website for a free magnet.