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April 13, 1957


JAMA. 1957;163(15):1344-1348. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970500028008

• The labeling of chemicals has come to embody many principles of safety, but it cannot be the sole means of protection for children. Labels are for those who can read. Reasonable behavior in parents and all other adults is the only sound method of reducing the number of accidents in which children swallow household chemicals or drugs. Information about active ingredients can be obtained by telephone from manufacturers or from poison control centers. Treatment can be specific if the poison is known to be an acid or alkali or a nerve poison of the organic phosphate type. In most cases the prompt induction of vomiting by putting a finger down the throat or drinking warm salt water will remove much of the offending material from the child's gastrointestinal tract.