Poisoning accidents in the home can be caused by things such as household chemicals, medicines, alcohol, tobacco and plants. Never wait for symptoms to appear if you suspect poisoning. Call 112 immediately and request the Poisons Information Centre.

First aid in case of emergency

  • A person with breathing difficulties, increasing lethargy, unconsciousness or convulsions should be taken to hospital immediately. Call 112 for an ambulance.
  • An unconscious person should be placed in a stable position on their side to prevent their tongue or vomit from blocking their throat, causing them to choke.
  • If the person is breathing poorly, you may need to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Do not induce vomiting

Never induce vomiting without first contacting the Poisons Information Centre ("Giftinformationscentralen"). Vomiting is rarely necessary, and could actually make the injury worse.

Medical charcoal can help – but ask first

  • The Poisons Information Centre may advise you to give medical charcoal. Charcoal reduces the amount of toxic substance that enters the body, as it binds to many toxic substances.
  • Never use charcoal without first speaking with the Poisons Information Centre. It is sometimes inappropriate to give charcoal to a poisoned person. 
  • It is a good idea to keep medical charcoal at home as part of your own emergency kit. It is available at most pharmacies.

In less urgent situations

In less urgent cases, call the Poisons Information Centre on 010-456 67 00, 24 hours a day. During the day, they answer general and preventive questions about poisoning.

Prevent poisoning

Young children often use their mouths to explore their surroundings and like to look for things in drawers and behind cupboard doors. Always store hazardous substances safely.