Monday, September 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Cleaning products often land kids in ER

report in the journal Pediatrics on the 267,269 children age 5 and younger who ended up in the emergency room between 1990 and 2006 after ingesting household cleaning products made me wonder where I'd put those cabinet locks I got more than three years ago when my oldest daughter started to crawl. The good news is that such poisonings decreased significantly over the 17 years studied: from 22,141 ER visits in 1990 to 11,964 in 2006.

Cleaning products often land kids in ER

I guess I’ve been lucky. Neither of my daughters has shown an interest in the cleaning supplies we keep under the kitchen sink or at the top of the basement stairs.

Still, reading a report in the journal Pediatrics on the 267,269 children age 5 and younger who ended up in the emergency room between 1990 and 2006 after ingesting household cleaning products made me wonder where I’d put those cabinet locks I got more than three years ago when my oldest daughter started to crawl.

The good news is that such poisonings decreased significantly over the 17 years studied: from 22,141 ER visits in 1990 to 11,964 in 2006.

Children aged 1 year to 3 years accounted for 72 percent of the injuries. Bleach was the most common source, being implicated in 37 percent of the cases. And 40 percent of the injuries involved spray bottles. In fact, while injuries from regular bottles decreased, spray bottle rates remained the same.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Ohio State University and the Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center at the University of Arizona.

“Although our findings demonstrate decreases in household cleaning product-related injuries over time, efforts to prevent these types of injuries are still needed,” the researchers concluded. They reiterated the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics and others that poisonous substances be kept in locked cabinets, out of reach of children, and in child-resistant packaging.

I guess I’ll be looking for those cabinet locks; our youngest daughter is now crawling like a pro and on the verge of walking. Everything she gets her hands on seems to end up in her mouth.

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Check Up covers major health events in our region and offers everything from personal health advice to an expert look at health reform. Read about some of our bloggers here.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section

Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
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