Oh-Baby-The-Subtle-Art-of-Photographing-a-Newborn-MainPhoto5. SYRUP OF IPECAC
It used to be that parents were told to keep syrup of ipecac (which causes vomiting) on hand in the home in case their children accidentally consumed a poisonous substance. But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “there was never any evidence that giving syrup of ipecac to children to make them vomit decreased death rates due to poisoning. It was a practice based on intuition rather than science.” The AAP reveals that “doctors and parents just assumed that vomiting removes poison from a child’s body.” Now that thinking has changed, and it’s backed up by studies: “In the past few years, scientific tests and research have shown vomiting will not help a child who has swallowed a poisonous substance.” In addition, there’s now a substance that has taken the place of ipecac: activated charcoal. “Most emergency rooms have stopped using ipecac in favor of activated charcoal—which binds to poison in the stomach and prevents them from entering the bloodstream,” says the AAP, warning that “continued vomiting caused by syrup of ipecac may later result in the child being unable to tolerate activated charcoal or other poison treatments.” The AAP advises prevention as key to avoiding the accidental consumption of poisonous substances, as well as keeping the number of Poison Control on hand (“the universal number in the U.S. is 1/800-222-1222”) and calling 911 “if a child is having convulsions, stops breathing or loses consciousness.”