Protect Your Kids from Home Poisonings: What You Need to Be Aware of

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Toddlers grab into the mouth whatever they see within hands’ reach. That is how they explore and learn from the world. Although it is important for kids’ growth and development, it can be dangerous and may even cause death when they play with those things without protection from adults.



Toddler's tragic death after swallowing toilet cleaner


According to BBC, a 2-year-old girl in the UK was feared to have ingested toilet cleaner before she died. The baby girl presented with symptoms of vomiting pink liquids first and was then discharged from the hospital when she showed signs of improvement. A week later, she suffered cardiac arrest and then died. The little girl was believed to have swallowed a Toilet Duck capsule upstairs, while her mother was downstairs.



Home poisonings


Home poisonings in children are not rare. In fact, the poison control centers received 72,947 calls related to liquid laundry detergent packet exposures by mostly children in the USA between 2012 and 2017. Adults should be aware that many household products may cause harm to children and need to be kept properly.



Dangerous drugs


Many of the drugs that grandpas or grandmas take are hazardous for children, including sedatives, opioids (hydrocodone, oxycodone, buprenorphine, etc.), and anti-high blood pressure medications. Once the kids ingest them, there may be symptoms of poisoning, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Adults should be vigilant about sudden changes in the number of pills in the drug containers.



Button batteries


Accidentally swallowing the button batteries is a common cause of visits to the emergency room for children. Common symptoms include constant and sudden crying, drooling, decreased eating, vomiting, abdominal pain, and blood in the stool or saliva. Moreover, the hazard of button battery ingestion lies in its chemical composition, as it may cause perforation of the bowel. Seeking immediate medical attention to remove the button batteries is needed. Do not expect the button batteries to be passed with the stool if your children swallow them.



Alcohol-based products


Common household alcohol-based products include mouthwash, hand sanitizers, colognes and perfume. When accidentally ingested in large quantities, these products would cause significant damage to the esophagus and the stomach, leading to symptoms of vomiting, stomach pain, or even perforation of the esophagus or stomach. In some cases, it may lead to confusion and even death.



Household cleaning products


Bleach, drain de-clogger, and glass sprays are commonly-used household cleaning products. When accidentally ingested, they would also cause symptoms of abdominal pain and vomiting. Moreover, in some toddlers, the color of the vomit may be different from that of the product ingested, because the product may blend with blood and give a different color.



The bottom line


The most important and useful way to prevent harm from household products is to store them up high and out of reach of children. If you strongly suspect that your children have accidentally ingested detrimental products, seek medical attention immediately and tell the doctors your concerns.

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These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
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