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Child swallowed Harpic, taken lots of water, had stomach stretching, now dizziness. What are we supposed to do?

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my neice has swallen approximately 80 ml of harpic some 2 hours back. As a precautionary measure we made her take lots and lots of water. Initially she was complaining of stretching of stomach muscles to much but has subsided upto some extent. Now she is feeling a bit of diziness. What are we supposed to do?
Posted Tue, 11 Sep 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Arnab Maji 37 minutes later

Harpic is a toilet cleaner which actually contains 10% hydrochloric acid as an active ingredient along with butyl oleylamine and others in a water solution. This acid part may injure stomach, respiratory tract and even mouth. It all depends upon how much of it is ingested. Your niece has ingested 80 ml which is enough to cause problems.

One thing you have done really well that you made her drink lots of water, because this is the most important and initial treatment of it. You can also give her cold milk if she is able to drink and if there is no vomiting.

Immediately seek medical help. Please take her to a hospital and consult the doctors for monitoring purpose. Please do not give her any kind of stomach wash because it will damage her stomach. If needed an intravenous fluid drip and oxygen may need to be started.

Don't give her any kind of solid food or liquid food except water and cold milk right now.

There are many chronic problems of acid ingestion such as perforation of stomach, stricture in the stomach, stricture along the respiratory tract or anywhere else in the gastrointestinal tract, infections etc. All these can be dealt at the earliest through close monitoring and treatment in a good hospital setting. So don't waste time and visit a nearby hospital as soon as possible.

Lastly don't panic. Harpic consumption is not as life threatening as other poisons. Nevertheless immediate medical help is required. Your niece will also benefit from a psychiatric counselling.

Hope this helps. If you want to know further you may write back to me. I am here to help you.

Wishing your niece quick recovery.

Dr. Arnab Maji
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