What to Do if My Child Drinks Bleach?

What should you do if your child drinks bleach? Go to the doctor right away, of course. But first, certain actions may save their life.
What to Do if My Child Drinks Bleach?
Nelton Ramos

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Nelton Ramos.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

What should you do if your child drinks bleach? Run them to the doctor as soon as possible, of course. But first, there are certain things you should know that can save your child’s life. In this article, we’ll tell you what you need to know about the subject.

An accident that can be avoided

There’s a saying that goes: “Accidents are always preventable.”

And although accidents aren’t always so easy to avoid in all cases, there are some that are, like the one we’re talking about to do. This type of accident can and should be prevented.

It’s no secret to anyone that children roam around the house exploring the world around them.

Every corner, hole, closet… is extremely interesting, especially if children can discover something unknown within them.

Children are interested in discovering new things, feeling what they’ve never touched, and trying to see what the pen that Dad dropped on the floor and that rolled under a piece of furniture tastes like; or the bright colored perfume that Mom always uses and keeps in the bathroom.

A young girl with a blank stare.

One of the most common causes of poisoning during childhood is from ingesting cleaning products. We’re talking about poisons that are kept at home and, on many occasions, within the reach of children.

However, if your child drinks bleach, you and your family are the only ones to blame. As hard as it may seem, you should bear in mind that no child can drink something that’s not within their reach in the first place.

Therefore, the arrival of a baby means not only taking steps to guarantee they have a crib to sleep in, clothes to wear, food, medicine, diapers, etc. It’s also important that you modify:

  • First, your lifestyle habits
  • Second, order within the home

If, for example, dad likes to smoke while watching television, with the arrival of a baby, he should either quit altogether or start smoking outdoors where the smoke doesn’t harm the health of the new baby.

Or perhaps before having children, a couple had no qualms about leaving dishes with food remains on the table in the living room after enjoying a movie. However, with the birth of a baby who quickly develops and learns to crawl and climb, this must be one of the habits that will need to be modified.

A baby crying.

And the same is true when it comes to any toxic substances in your home. They should always be kept in a place that’s completely inaccessible to your little one.

However, if, one day, you find yourself in the difficult situation of discovering or suspecting that your child drank bleach, you should know how to give them first aid, which could mean the difference between life and death.

Symptoms of bleach poisoning

One of the things you should learn when you become a mother is to identify the symptoms of poisoning with toxic products, which can alert you to the possibility that your child has consumed bleach drunk bleach. Among the most common are:

  • Vomiting
  • Irritations outside the mouth, tongue, gums, and throat
  • Mouth swelling
  • Difficulty swallowing and breathing
  • Excess drooling
  • Skin burns

Of course, to this, we must also add inconsolable crying.

What to do if your child drinks bleach?

  • Don’t give him anything to eat or drink.
  • Don’t induce vomiting. If your child hasn’t vomited yet, you shouldn’t try to get them to. Contrary to what some parents believe, it’s better for the toxic liquid not to return to the esophagus, throat, or mouth. If it happens, the damage to the digestive system could be aggravated.
  • Run as soon as possible to the nearest urgent care center.
  • Bring the liquid and container from which the child drank.
  • If possible, tell the doctor the approximate amount of bleach ingested
  • Measure the time elapsed since the ingestion of the substance.
  • Keep calm. Although we know that it’s quite difficult to do so if your child drinks bleach, staying calm will help you to think clearly, comply with the aforementioned measures, and avoid certain mistakes that desperate parents often make when trying to save their children.

Security measures to take at home

More than likely, your child won’t be able to tell you how much or which bottle they drank from, or how long it’s been since they drank; For this reason, it’s your responsibility to remain vigilant and adopt all the security measures that will avoid fatal consequences.

  • Store bleach in a high place where they can’t reach it
  • Protect it inside cabinets with doors and always keep them locked with keys
  • Keep the bleach in its container to avoid confusion and keep your from leaving another container that contains bleach within the reach of your child
  • Every time you use it, leave the bleach well covered so that, if your child happens to grab it, they won’t be able to open the bottle.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.