There has been a surge in accidental poisonings among young children from items that are found inside the home such as bleach, coin-sized batteries, and narcotics since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a ReportReleased by the Consumer Product Safety Commission last week.
The agency reported that there was an increase of 72% in serious injuries resulting from cleaning agents during the first nine months, which ran from March 2020 to Dec 2020. There was also an increase of 62% in battery-related injuries among children aged 5 to 9.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led families to spend more time indoors. This increases the risk of unintentional poisonings that could result in injury or death, especially for children,”The CPSC stated.
Each year, unintentional poisonings of consumer products in the home cause 31 deaths in children under five years old. In 1972 alone, 216 children died. According to CPSC this figure has fallen by 80%
2018 had 17 deaths and was the year with the lowest death toll. According to the agency, this number increased by 26% to 43 deaths in 2019, while it doubled to 34 deaths in 2019.
Nearly half of those deaths were attributed to narcotics, such as opioids, according to CPSC’s 2022 Annual Report.
According to the report, poison can come in various forms from medicines, household chemicals to coin-size batteries and liquid nicotine.
In 2020, blood pressure medications, antidepressants (antidepressants), dietary supplements, bleach, and acetaminophen were the top five things that young children accidentally swallowed.
The report also analyzed race and ethnicity. The agency found that Black children are at higher risk of accidental pediatric poisonings (increased by 19.8%) than the 13.4% of American population.
According to the report, Hispanic children suffer from slightly higher rates of pediatric poisonings ( 19.1%) than their 18.5 percent population.
“CPSC encourages family members and caregivers need to identify products in their homes that could be a danger and keep these products out of a child’s sight and reach,”The CPSC stated.
Safety tips to parents and caregivers
- Keep all chemicals, medicines, and cleaning supplies out of reach of children by storing them in a locked container or box.
- Do not give your children medicines or household chemicals.
- Children should not handle laundry detergent packets.
- Store laundry detergent packets in their original containers, out of a child’s sight and reach.
- All kinds of electronic products have coin-sized buttons that can be swallowed. Avoid putting button batteries in reach of children. Secure any battery compartments that do not have a screw closing with tape.
- Poison Help can be reached at 800-222-1222 if the child is poisoned.