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Infant drank kerosene. What can be done now?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 121 Questions
To night at 10 pm my 3 year old son drank kerosene accidentally, what should I do?
Posted Thu, 5 Jul 2012 in Growth and Development in Children
Answered by Dr. Chandana Krishna 51 minutes later

Thank you for writing in,

Kerosene can induce some harmful changes both in the stomach as well as respiratory tube. It is best that you visit your nearest doctor / ER at the earliest. Your son needs to be kept in observation for the next 24 hours.

Patient needs to be observed for respiratory distress. If the baby develops distress, Oxygen therapy needs to be started immediately. He may also need X-ray to rule out chemical pneumonitis and antibiotics need to be started to prevent secondary lung infection.

I do not intent to create panic now; however you need to be aware of the dangers involved.
Danger signs are:
-Difficulty in breathing, increasing progressively,
-Hurried breathing,
-chest in-drawing,
-bluish discoloration of lips, skin
These need immediate medical care.

Hope this helps. If you have any query, I'll be happy to help you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Infant drank kerosene. What can be done now? 7 hours later

Thank you very much for your valuable advice. I would like to know about his medication. After 12 hrs. he is behaving normal, no change to his breathing, at late night he had started some dry cough, but at morning that also stopped. If you please advice for his diet I will be highly obliged.

With best regards,

Answered by Dr. Chandana Krishna 5 hours later

Thank you for writing back,

It is good to know that your child is fine now.

Secondary infections can occur in the next 2-3 days. To avoid this, it is better to start on antibiotics. So though your son is fine now, please visit your pediatrician. He/she can start your kid on a broad spectrum antibiotic to prevent lung complications.

In addition your pediatrician may also advise chest X-ray to rule out pneumonitis. A proton pump inhibitor might be started to prevent gastritis.

It is likely that your child should be alright. Starting the aforementioned treatment will make sure your child remains perfectly healthy without any complications arising from this unexpected event.

As far as diet is concerned, there are no dietary restrictions.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Infant drank kerosene. What can be done now? 7 hours later
Thank you Doctor,

I am really grateful to you.
My local pediatrician suggested not to go any X-ray for detect the pneumonitis, as his breathing is going without any difficulties.
But at the evening when my baby makes "POTTY", that is made me little worried as the stool was quite liquid in state and has smelled little oily i.e. smell of kerosene.
Please advice me.

With best regards,
Answered by Dr. Chandana Krishna 1 hour later
Nothing to worry about that.
Its just the kerosene which is not absorbed.
It will subside in a day or two.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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