Poisoning First Aid

It’s important to act quickly if you believe someone has been poisoned. If someone collapses, has a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be woken up, call 911 immediately.

If you suspect someone has been poisoned, there are several things that Poison Control recommends you do before calling them. Act fast, as every second matters.

Swallowed: If a poison was swallowed and is burning, irritating, or caustic and the person has remained conscious, isn’t having convulsions, and can swallow, have them drink a small amount of water or milk immediately. Then, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222, or you can use Poison Control’s online tool to get expert and confidential guidance.

In the eye: Rinse the eye immediately. Delays can result in loss of sight. Remove contact lenses and use room temperature water for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Adults and older children should consider using the shower. Wrap young children in a towel and let water from the faucet or a pitcher run over the eye. Don’t pour directly onto the eye—let water hit the bridge of the nose and run into the eyes. Then, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222, or you can use Poison Control’s online tool to get expert and confidential guidance.

On the skin: Rinse the affected area immediately with room temperature running water. Adults and older children should consider using the shower. Remove contaminated clothing first. Use mild soap to remove material that sticks to the skin. Then, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222, or you can use Poison Control’s online tool to get expert and confidential guidance.

Inhaled: Move to fresh air immediately, and stay away from toxic fumes and gases. Then, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222, or you can use Poison Control’s online tool to get expert and confidential guidance.

If you believe the poison was an opioid, we recommend using naloxone, such as NARCAN Nasal Spray, to reverse the effects of the opioid overdose. Use it immediately if you suspect or observe symptoms of an opioid overdose. Then, seek emergency medical attention.


If you’re concerned about you or someone else, get help at findtreatment.gov.