A paediatrician at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Hilda Mantebea Boye, has cautioned against giving palm oil as first aid to children or persons who may accidentally drink poison or any other chemical.

It is common to find many Ghanaians giving palm oil to people who drink poison or any other chemical as a way of neutralising the ingested poisonous substance but Dr Boye says the practice usually causes more harm than good.

The palm oil will force the person to vomit and it can cause a condition called Chemical Pneumonitis which is a problem in the lungs“, she warned.


Instead, she recommends that such person be rushed to the hospital for proper care.

If the clothing is soaked with the chemical, the person can be cleaned up quickly and clothing changed. It is also advisable to carry along the container of the poison ingested to the hospital to help with easy identification of the poison to help find an antidote,” she said.

Dr Boye also advised parents whose children may suffer from burns to soothe the spot with cold water for a few minutes before taking them to the hospital.

She also warned against putting chemicals in water bottles and other familiar bottles because children may easily mistaken them for water or beverage.

Medications and Poisons should not be left within the reach of young children,” she advised.

She was speaking with Afia Amankwaah Tamakloe about the safety of babies in the home on Nyinsen Ne Awo) which airs on Adom FM every Sunday between 8:00-9: 00 PM.