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Accidental Poisoning Risks from Five Common Products

Girl in classroom

While it is a danger that is often overlooked, the threat of accidental poisoning is something that jeopardizes large numbers every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 38,000 people lose their lives to accidental poisonings per year. Many of the most common victims are young children. These deaths often can be attributed to the misuse of common household products. So in order to better keep your family safe, please read up on some everyday items that can be hazardous under certain circumstances.

1. Laundry detergent – This has become a larger issue recently due to the increased popularity of laundry packets. For one, many small children mistake these for candy due to their bright colors. Also unlike traditional detergent, these often have a higher concentration of chemicals known as ionic and anionic surfactants. In 2014 alone, poison control logged over 11,000 calls related to children ingesting these products. Therefore, it is extremely important that these are stored in areas that are inaccessible to children.

2. Antifreeze – Due to its bright coloration, antifreeze is often mistaken for juice by young children. As one would expect, it is extremely hazardous if ingested. Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include, but are not limited to, rapid breathing, blurred vision, convulsions, and blood in urine.

3. Cosmetics and personal care products – Goods in this category remain among the most common in poisoning cases involving children. While the risk varies from product to product, some of the most dangerous items include nail polish remover and hair care products.

4. Pesticides – These chemicals can cause severe health hazards in children if not properly stored. In addition to keeping these out of the reach of children, it is important to not reuse empty containers since they are often still toxic even after they have been washed.

5. Glass Cleaner – This ordinary product, though useful, often contains chemicals such as ammonia, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, and methanol. Like antifreeze, glass cleaners can sometimes be mistaken for juice by young children as a result of its coloration. Additionally, there is a strong risk of respiratory issues due to inhalation.

As the facts related to these products indicate, poisoning cases are clearly not something that should be lightly. If you believe that you or someone you know has ingested a harmful substance, call Poison Control’s twenty-four hour hotline at 1-800 222-1222.  For more information on products and their proper use, read more of our blog at http://consumer-education.blogspot.com/and check out our website, www.inhalant.org & www.stopgerms.org today!

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