Poisoning occurs when toxic substances enter your body through the mouth, nose, eyes, or skin. The reaction to the poison could vary depending on what you have been exposed to and for what period of time. Children are the most likely victims of poisoning, followed by elderly people.
In the event of an unfortunate incident, immediately call one of the following: a poisoning help center, your doctor, hospital emergency room, or 911.
Types of Poisoning
The types of poisoning include inhaled poisons, swallowed poisons, poisons in the eye, and poisons on the skin. There are two types of poison—venom and toxins—that can negatively affect the human body. Venom is toxic and usually present in snakes and insects.
These need to be injected into the human body by means of fangs or stings. Toxins are produced naturally within living organisms.
Poisoning due to toxins can be further divided into various types depending on the toxin itself. Some common types of poisoning include:
Lead and mercury poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Accidental plant poisoning, the venomous bite of a snake, spider or insect, alcohol poisoning, drug poisoning, and chemical poisoning are other kinds by which a person can be poisoned.
Types of Food Poisoning
In terms of food poisoning, there are four different kinds of food poisoning caused by E. Coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Shigella.
E. Coli bacteria are the main reason behind food poisoning. You are more likely to get this infection if you consume contaminated or undercooked ground beef and other red meats.
Salmonella is often found in raw milk and the intestinal tract of pigs, dogs, and cows. Undercooked food and food that is not refrigerated properly like milk, meat, and eggs may be contaminated.
Campylobacter bacteria usually infect a person after the consumption of poultry products. The best way to avoid an infection is to cook the food properly.
Infection of Shigella bacteria is a result of poor personal hygiene and cleanliness. Not washing one’s hands after using the bathroom is one of the surest ways of contracting the bacteria.
What to Watch Out for?
The various types of toxins and things to avoid are as follows:
Cleaning products like laundry cleaners, kitchen cleaners, carpet cleaners, bathroom cleaners and furniture cleaners
Carbon monoxide gas
Lead and mercury (which is present in batteries and old thermometers)
Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides
Nail polish remover
A wrong combination of prescription drugs like paracetamol and aspirin
Overdose of illegal drugs
Poisonous plants such as mushrooms, poison oak, boxwood, poison ivy and foxglove, to name a few
Venomous snakes and insects
Make sure that you keep an eye on your children and keep all dangerous things out of their reach. For example; most children would easily confuse colorful tablets for candy.
Signs of Poisoning
The signs of poisoning are extensive and inconsistent, but there are a few common symptoms of poisoning that one should keep a look out for. These are applicable to any type of poisoning; however, the severity may vary depending on the toxin. Bites from venomous snakes and insects need immediate medical attention.
High fever and chills
Burns around the nose or mouth
Loss of appetite
A lot of the symptoms could be common with other illnesses as well, so the best thing would be to see your doctor immediately. Keep some activated charcoal close by as it in handy and aids in binding certain poisons in the event of an accidental poisoning.
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