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Increase in Household Cleaner Exposures for Children 0-5 Yrs.

August 04, 2020 11:00 AM | Anonymous


Arlington, VA- While household cleaners have proven to be effective in preventing the spread of disease causing germs such as COVID-19, children are especially sensitive to the effects caused by an exposure to these products.

According to the National Poison Data System (NPDS), between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 there was a 10% increase in exposures to household cleaners in children 0-5 years old when compared to 2019. The top exposures were to liquid laundry detergent packets, bleaches, all purpose cleaners, drain cleaners, and oven cleaners. Effects may include but are not limited to ocular irritation, nausea, vomiting, and possible burns depending on the product. Although one (1) out of six (6) exposures to household cleaners resulted in minor or moderate effects, each exposure is unique. Consult your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 for immediate Poison Help and household cleaner information.

“During this period, 98% of exposures to household cleaners occurred in a residence”, said Richard Fogelson, AAPCC Chief Executive Officer. “Household cleaners sometimes come in shiny bright colored packages that are intriguing to the adult eye but to a naturally curious child these packages resemble candy and toys. Our team wants to ensure that we provide the public with the most accurate data to help keep families safe and prevent accidental poison exposures.”

To reduce a potential exposure to household cleaners, practice safe use and storage habits. Using child safety locks and keeping products up high and out of sight of children can prevent harmful exposures. If you have questions about household cleaners or suspect a poisoning, immediately call the Poison Help Hotline by dialing 1-800-222-1222.

Four ways to be prepared and get confidential, and expert help 24/7/365:

1. Text POISON to 797979 to save the Poison Help Hotline as a contact in your mobile phone.

2. Save the Poison Help Hotline number, 1-800-222-1222, into your mobile phone.

3. Display the Poison Help Hotline contact number throughout your home.

4. Get Info: Web:



For More Information, Contact:

Maggie Maloney, MS 
Director, Public Education & Communications



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