Pesticide Poisoning (Sniper): What to do!

Pesticide poisoning occurs when pesticides, that is, chemicals used to kill common house hold pests, especially insects like mosquitoes, cockroaches, as well as rodents like rats, etc now affects humans. Many of our common insecticides, including the liquid ones and the sprays can cause poisoning when they are ingested, either by: swallowing, inhaling them through the nose, or absorbing them through the skin.

I just read a story of a 9-Year-Old Girl that Died After Her Mother used Sniper On Her Hair with the aim of Killing the lice. This incidence was reported at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital.

According to the woman, She applied the pesticide on the hair of her two daughters aged four and nine, following the advice of her hairdresser. The life of the four year old was able to be saved at the hospital.

These are deaths that could have been prevented, if these persons have the right knowledge. PESTICIDES ARE VERY DANGEROUS but yet THEY ARE VERY COMMON IN OUR HOMES. This things we call Pesticides, whether “Otapiapia, Tusatusa,”, foreign or locally made, they are all POISONS.

PLEASE, NEVER EVER USE PESTICIDES ON THE SKIN, FOOD OR CLOTHES OF A HUMAN BEING!!

There are other products that are made for such purposes. If you know anyone who has lice, mites, scabies, etc, do not ever attempt to use pesticides.

What are Pesticides?

Poisoning from Pesticides used to kill mosquitoes & other insects is a commonly seen occurrence in our homes, especially the liquid ones. At every nook and corner of our homes, we can find these bottles of used or existing pesticides kept around carelessly then our little ones who crawl around would pick them up and put in their mouths.

Pesticide poisoning
Pesticides can be liquid or sprays.

It is normal for children to explore their environment. But it is your responsibility as a parent to ensure the safety of your children.

How do Pesticides Kill?

Pesticides kill in different ways depending on the type of pesticide, but the most common way is that it affects your breathing.

What are the Symptoms of Pesticide Poisoning?

The symptoms of the poisoning symptoms can range from mild to severe. In more severe cases, a person may die from the poisoning.

The symptoms depends on how much of the pesticide was consumed and for how long before going to the hospital. Symptoms may start immediately after you took the pesticide, either from the mouth or from the skin, or inhaled from the nose.

One with Pesticide poisoning, especially a severe form would show the following symptoms:
Symptoms of severe poisoning

  • vomiting
  • convulsions
  • unconsciousness
  • inability to breathe or increased rate of breathing.
  • fever
  • muscle twitching
  • thirst

First aid for Pesticide Poisoning/what to do if someone takes Pesticide.

If a person suffers pesticide poisoning do the following immediately:

  1. First find out if possible the way the poison entered the body. This may either be through the mouth, nose, skin or eyes.
  • If the pesticide has been inhaled, move the person to fresh air.
  • If the pesticide is in the person’s eyes, quickly wash the eyes for 15 minutes with clean, gently running water. If there is no running water, wash eyes with water from a container, and ensure that you are frequently changing the water after each wash.
  • If the pesticide is on the skin, remove all contaminated clothing and wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water.
  1. If the patient is not breathing, apply artificial respiration if you know how to do this.
  2. Read the label on the pesticide container for any first aid instructions and keep the label for the doctor. It is very important to be able to tell the doctor the name of the pesticide.
  3. If the pesticide is swallowed, and only if the person is conscious, DO NOT TRY TO MAKE THE PERSON VOMIT. THIS WOULD DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD. Instead, rinse the mouth with plenty of water and read the label on the pesticide container for further instructions.
  4. Quickly arrange take the person to the hospital or nearby clinic immediately or if you have a family doctor, or Community Nurse or Health Worker, try to reach them immediately.
  5. Keep the patient warm and comfortable.

Please, do not ever put anything in their mouth like Oil, Urine, etc and rush straight to the Hospital, not to the church, Mosque, native doctors or market or calling your pastor.

Rather, Rush to the hospital and when you get there, your pastor can come there to pray for him/her.

Prevention of Pesticides Poisoning

Finally, Prevention is better than cure. This mother just lost a 9 year old child for a reason that could have been preventable. To prevent this;

  • Once again, PLEASE, NEVER EVER USE PESTICIDES ON THE SKIN, FOOD OR CLOTHES OF A HUMAN BEING!!
  • Keep all Pesticides & drugs out of the reach of children.
  • always keep products in their original containers. DO NOT PUT KEROSENE IN COKE BOTTLE.
  • Always cover chemicals properly.
    Remain Safe

Feel free to ask any question you might have below!

Authors

  • Pharm. Emeri Chukwuenyem Dozen holds a B.Pharm degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, in Enugu State, Nigeria. He is a public health advocate and a lover of sports.

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