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Pesticides: poisoning & first aid

When accidental poisoning from a pesticide occurs, several steps should be taken.

First, stop the exposure by separating the person from the source of the pesticide. Move the victim away from the pesticide, remove contaminated clothing and wash the victim.

Start first aid immediately. If breathing is weak, give artificial respiration. Instruct the victim to remain calm, and keep him as quiet, warm and comfortable as possible. The serious effects of most pesticides are not instantaneous, so there is some time to protect exposed persons.

Call a physician, but do not stop first aid. Give the physician as much information from the pesticide label as she needs. Keep the label with the victim when transporting to a physician. Give the probable arrival time. Do not ask the doctor to come to the victim; equipment needed for proper treatment may be difficult to move.

If the victim was exposed to a highly toxic pesticide and begins to feel ill, immediately take him to the doctor, and be sure to take along the pesticide container and label. Do not induce vomiting unless the label instructs you to do so.

Family members should have knowledge of regularly-used pesticides. If poisoning symptoms occur, family members should know how to administer first-aid procedures and know where the pesticide label is kept.

Keep emergency phone numbers in a handy, well-known location. The Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center telephone number is: (303) 629-1123 or 1-800-332-3073.

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Updated Thursday, August 07, 2014