App for first aid in case of poisoning

Federal Institute for Risk Assessment develops app for first aid for poisoning

Poisoning is the second most common type of accident in children after a fall. No wonder, because poisonous plants or household cleaners are usually not far and can be swallowed quickly by the little ones. In order to be able to provide first aid quickly in such a case, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has now developed an app. Among other things, this provides information on symptoms of poisoning and emergency aid and also provides tips on how to prevent poisoning accidents from the outset.

Poisoning is the second most common type of accident in children After falls, poisoning is the second most common type of accident in children. Every year, the nine poison information centers (GIZ) in Germany receive more than 100,000 calls for poisoning in children, in more than half of the cases under 3-year-olds are affected. According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the most common cause is the swallowing of household funds, in particular household cleaners such as decalcifiers or sanitary cleaners, personal care products and medicines. In addition, the consumption of plants and berries (e.g. cherry laurel) as well as cigarettes and alcohol lead to poisoning in children. These can be very dangerous, which is why immediate first aid is absolutely necessary.

New app offers information on symptoms of intoxication and first aid measures "But what should be done if a child accidentally drinks a caustic detergent?" Many parents, but also educators, will ask themselves. To be able to offer support here, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has developed an app, which Federal Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner (CSU) presented in Berlin on Thursday. With information on poisoning symptoms and immediate measures, this should help in the future "to keep a cool head in such a difficult situation and to make the right decision." According to the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV), the app also provides background information on chemicals, Medicines, plants and fungi that can lead to poisoning in children and tips for avoiding accidents.

"Many accidents would be avoidable" According to Ilse Aigner, the new app should help to reduce the number of poisoning accidents among children in the future. Because "many accidents could be avoided if parents, grandparents, childminders, educators and teachers knew the risks and always kept dangerous products safely," said the Minister of Consumer Protection. In future, the application should close a gap here, because “the app is an important information and reference work - even without a direct internet connection. In an emergency, the responsible poison information center can be called directly from the app, ”explains Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, President of the BfR.

However, the app cannot replace medical advice in an emergency
The BfR app "Poisoning Accidents in Children" was developed for smartphones with the Android and iOS operating systems and can now be downloaded free of charge from the respective app stores. Despite all the help provided by the app, it cannot "replace emergency call 112" in an emergency, according to the express reference from the BfR and the Federal Ministry of Consumer Affairs. Nevertheless, "thanks to the option of using the app to dial the nearest poison emergency call at any time, medical advice can be obtained immediately," the BfR continued. The app enables you to call one of the nine responsible German Poison Information Centers (GIZ). If the location function of the smartphone is activated, a connection to the responsible GIZ of a federal state is even automatically established. (No)

Photo credit: S. Hofschaeger /

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Video: How to Treat Poisoning. First Aid Training

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