Poison Control calls up 70% since start of coronavirus pandemic, child safety group says

From hand sanitizer to antibacterial wipes, cleaning products can pose danger to kids

Samantha Chatman Image
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Poison Control calls up 70% since start of coronavirus pandemic, nonprofit says
Calls to the Poison Control Centers are up 70% since the starts of the COVID-19 pandemic, one nonprofit child safety group said.

A child safety group is warning parents about dangerous household products that are poisoning kids at record rates this year.

Products that have become common during the COVID-19 pandemic, like disinfectants and hand sanitizers, are the main problems, the group said.

Calls to the Poison Control Centers are up by 70% since the start of the pandemic, according to the nonprofit Safe Kids Worldwide.

The group said as parents continue to be vigilant about keeping their homes clean with common disinfectant and sanitizing products, more young children are getting ahold of those products, and this could be very dangerous.

RELATED: FDA warns about 'Benadryl Challenge' after reports of teens ending up in ER

For example, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are being sold in containers that look like water bottles or children's food pouches.

In other cases, the organization said antibacterial wipes are sometimes left on the counter for another use. When young, kids discover a wipe laying around, or pull a fresh one out of a container left within reach, they are likely to put it into their mouths.

RELATED: 87 hand sanitizer products recalled due to methanol, FDA warns

"It's always a problem; I think the best thing that we can all do to try to keep our kids safe around this time is develop habits that make it simple," said Dr. Sadiqa Kendi, medical advisor for Safe Kids Worldwide.

When it comes to keeping it simple, Kendi said parents should follow these three steps:

1. Store household products out of children's reach and sight.

2. Keep household products in their original containers and read product labels.

3. Save the Poison Control Centers number and post it visibly at home: The number is 1-800-222-1222.

Specialists at poison control centers provide free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day. They can answer questions and help with poison emergencies.