Or seek medical advice from another health professional
Hints and Tips for Calling a Poison Centre
First - Remain calm! Not all medicines and household chemicals are poisonous or cause symptoms.
If the person is unconscious or having difficulty breathing, ring 111 (NZ Only).
In all other poisoning situations call the National Poisons Centre on 0800 POISON.
If a child is upset or crying, have someone else take care of them so you can focus on the phone call.
When you call, you will speak to a Poisons Information Officer, who will ask you some questions before they can give you advice.
Bring the product container to the phone, so you can provide any information asked by the Poisons Information Officer.
These questions might include:
If an exposure has occurred, and if so, was the poison swallowed, splashed in the eye or on the skin?
When did the exposure happen?
The name and concentration of the substance involved (if known)
They may ask for other information from the container label
The amount of substance involved (e.g., a mouthful, or the number of tablets swallowed or even the approximate amount left in the bottle)
The age and weight of the patient
Any signs or symptoms that they show, or how they feel
Any first aid that has already been carried out
Don't be afraid to mention anything you think maybe important, such as existing health conditions or problems, or any mitigating factors, such as if you live in a remote location, away from medical care.
Once they have this information, the Poisons Information Officer will give you advice as to what kind of first aid is needed and whether or not the patient needs to see a doctor.
The Poisons Information Officer will then ask for your name, location and phone number, in case they need to contact you with any further information.