Household product incidents jump, especially among children

While everyone cleans and disinfects to avoid being contaminated by COVID-19, the number of potentially harmful exposure to cleaning products and hand sanitizer has jumped, especially among 0 to 5 years.
The Quebec Poison Control Center has received more calls since the start of the pandemic.

In March, he received 559 for cases of exposure to household products, including bleach. These are 133 more cases than in March 2019.

“Exposure” means that the affected person has received product in the eye, has swallowed it, inhaled noxious fumes or has received it on the skin, which can cause skin irritation.

Regarding the hand sanitizer, which many call the name of a popular brand, the “purell”, 49 cases of exposure were reported in March, 63% more than in the same month the year. latest.

Bleach, used to disinfect, caused the most problems: with 149 cases of exposure, it was an increase of 266%.

Toddlers are particularly at risk.

In fact, 65% of the problematic cases with the hand sanitizer happened to children 0 to 5 years old, most often because they had swallowed it or their parents feared that it was the case.

With regard to household cleaning products, including bleach, 42% of the cases reported concerned the 0-5 age group.

People currently have more of these products at home, and may be a little more likely to leave them on hand, rather than putting them away, because they feel like they have to disinfect everything – continuously , commented in an interview Guillaume Bélair, clinical nurse, assistant to the immediate superior at the Center antipoison du Québec.

So there is a greater risk that children will have access to these products, he says.

He reminds that at all times, these products must be kept out of the reach of children. He also recommends that parents do not transfer a remaining bottle of cleaning product to a smaller, unlabelled bottle.

Mr. Bélair also warns against mixtures of cleaning products which can create toxic vapors.

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