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A child swallowed mercury from a thermometer, what should I do?

If a child swallowed mercury from a thermometer.

Probably, in every house there is an ordinary thermometer, with which they measure body temperature for various ailments. However, if there are children in the family, there is no way to avoid incidents, and sometimes far from the most pleasant ones. Very often, kids beat fragile objects that fall under their arm – among such objects there may be a thermometer that is not hidden from children in time. If the parents do not notice what happened in time and do not remove the child away from the fragments, the baby can send the contents into the mouth. What to do in a situation where a child swallowed mercury from a thermometer, how dangerous is such an incident, and how to minimize its consequences for the baby? All these questions need to be answered in detail.

First of all, you need to examine the child’s mouth for glass cuts! If cuts are found, go to the hospital immediately. The problem is very serious. This means that the child swallowed glass from a broken thermometer. And it’s very dangerous!

The main symptoms indicating that the child swallowed mercury from a thermometer

As you know, mercury is a hazardous substance, but it is not the liquid metal itself that leads to poisoning, but its vapors, which have an extremely detrimental effect on the human body. So, what happens after a restless and curious child swallowed mercury from a thermometer? Most likely, everything will be fine with him, especially if there was a small amount of dangerous metal. Mercury will simply come out naturally along with the feces, and the baby will not suffer at all.

However, if he managed to swallow almost the entire contents of the thermometer, the following symptoms are possible:

  • the child feels a general malaise, he develops apathy and weakness;
  • headache begins, dizziness is possible;
  • the baby begins to feel dry mouth, while salivation becomes very plentiful;
  • diarrhea begins, paroxysmal pains appear in the abdomen;
  • breathing becomes difficult, shortness of breath and cough appear;
  • a significant increase in body temperature.

Even if one or more symptoms occur, you should immediately call an ambulance. It is also necessary to contact the specialists of the Expert-Mercury service, who will promptly clean your house of the slightest residue of a hazardous substance.

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Expert opinion:

Mercury is a heavy metal, but its vapors are the most dangerous. If it enters the stomach or intestines, mercury is not absorbed by the child’s body. However, if this happened due to the fact that the child saw through the tip of the thermometer, glass fragments are also dangerous. They can injure the oral cavity, mucous membranes of the pharynx, esophagus and stomach. In this case, you need to call an ambulance and take the child to the hospital for gastric lavage and removal of glass fragments, examination and elimination of complications. If a child breaks a thermometer and puts one or two balls in his mouth from the floor, you must immediately take him out of the room, wash his hands with laundry soap for at least 10 minutes, removing all small fragments and metal residues from them, call a specialized mercury elimination service. The child should be carefully monitored for 2-3 days. At the slightest sign of indisposition
(nausea, headache, drowsiness) – immediately show the baby to the doctor.
Pediatrician 
Alena Paretskaya

Your child swallowed mercury from a thermometer – what to do in a similar situation?

As already mentioned, the most serious danger to our health is caused by mercury vapor in the air, and not by the liquid metal itself. However, the very first thing to do, as soon as the contents of the thermometer have been swallowed, is to immediately induce vomiting and completely empty the stomach. After this, it is necessary to wait for the arrival of doctors who will make a thorough gastric lavage for the child. Most likely, the baby will be hospitalized for a while, so that specialists can make sure that nothing threatens his health.

It is known that the human body already contains a very small dose of mercury. However, what function it performs, and why exactly we need it, is not yet known for certain. The mercury swallowed by the baby, with a high probability, will not harm him, because it will be completely eliminated from the body naturally. It is much more dangerous not to swallow liquid metal, but to roll it in your hands, allow it to come into contact with the skin and inhale its vapors. To forever protect your baby from such a situation, the thermometer must be kept in a place inaccessible to him. Better yet, purchase a special electronic thermometer, or a thermometer for alcohol, which does not pose a danger to households.

What to do if the thermometer breaks in the room.

So, if your restless child swallowed mercury from a thermometer, you should not hesitate to call an ambulance. In addition, parents must take other precautions to protect everyone in the household from danger. The baby should be immediately taken outside, or at least to another room – this is necessary so that he does not inhale the harmful fumes of liquid metal and does not touch it. In the room itself, it is necessary to create the coolest possible microclimate by opening all the windows for this. The mercury vapor will then be vented out. You also need to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands, and very carefully collect the naughty balls of mercury, using a medical plaster or tape for this. A small brush and paper sheet will also work for this purpose. It is strictly forbidden to collect liquid metal indoors with a conventional vacuum cleaner. However, the best thing to do in such a situation is to call Expert-Mercury service specialists who will quickly and efficiently clean your home from the slightest trace of a hazardous substance.

The main thing that should not be done when a child has swallowed mercury from a thermometer is to panic, fuss and scare the baby. Most likely, nothing terrible will happen if the parents strictly follow all the recommendations described. It is also very important to consult a doctor in time, without waiting for the appearance of alarming symptoms. The sooner the child’s stomach is cleared, the better. So that children are not afraid to seek help from their parents, do not threaten them with punishment for a broken thermometer. Also, always have an emergency phone at hand. “Mercury Expert “. Remember – the sooner you turn to specialists, the easier it will be for them to eliminate the consequences of careless handling of the thermometer.

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