The American Association of Poison Control Centers recorded approximately 2.2 million cases of poisoning in 2015, with half of them involving children below six years. While parents may know how to keep medications, cleaning supplies, and pesticides away from their children, they may be ignoring some unsafe products.
Common Unsafe Home Products
Laundry Detergent Pods
These detergent pods expose children to serious risks of poisoning. Between 2012 and 2017, poison control centers handled around 73,000 calls for help associated with liquid laundry detergent pods. Almost all of these cases involved children below six years.
Due to their small and brightly colored nature, kids may mistake detergent ponds for candy or a delicious drink. The effects of eating a detergent pod may include coughing, lethargy, vomiting, breathing problems, and, in some cases, coma.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that there were around 254,200 toy-related injuries and 11 fatalities in 2015 alone. The common causes of toy-related injuries and fatalities include toxic chemical exposures, burns, airway obstruction, and more.
Toys are one of the most commonly recalled household products by the CPSC, an agency that protects the general public from items that present a higher risk of injury or fatality. Kids’ toys may contain the following defects:
- Harmful chemicals: Some kids’ toys may consist of dangerous chemicals that can leave them with severe injuries or even killed. Lead is one of the common harmful chemicals found in some children’s toys.
- Lack of Warning Labels: Manufacturers are legally required to put warning labels on kids’ toys. Failure to do this can endanger children’s lives.
- Defects in the Toy Design and Manufacturing: When a toy has manufacturing and design defects, it can pose danger to children. If tiny pieces of a toy aren’t tightly connected, they can easily detach and pose a significant choking risk for kids.
Personal Care Products
Personal care products also cause many cases of poisoning among young kids. These products contain a wide array of chemicals. The effects of ingesting one of the personal care products will be determined by the product itself and its chemical composition. Swallowing lotion, for instance, can result in nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Inhaling talcum baby powder can cause breathing difficulties and lung damage.
Although window cleaners help keep windows shiny and clean, they may contain toxic chemicals that may harm kids. Older versions may have high concentrates of toxic chemicals, such as methanol and ammonia, which could be linked to risks of asthma in infants.
A baby walker is another household item that causes a child to be injured. It poses a higher risk of falling down the stairs. A walker can also enable a baby to access unsafe areas and appliances, including benchtops, utensil drawers, and ovens, which they couldn’t otherwise access.
Like human medications, pet medication should be kept out of children’s reach. One study published in the Pediatrics journal found an Ohio-based poison control center had received over 1,400 calls for help related to children exposed to pet medications. Around 88% of the calls involved children below 5 years.
Most children accessed the pet medication as they were playing in the home. About 23% of the kids were exposed to the medication as the parent was attempting to administer it to a pet. This often happens when the pet spits out the medication somewhere and a kid gets hold of it and consumes it.