Poisoning by household products, risk for children

Who I am
Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
Author and references

Contents

  • 1 Products that cause intoxication
  • 2 Poisoning by household products: who it strikes and when
  • 3 The causes of poisoning by household products
  • 4 What to do to prevent accidents
  • 5 What to do in case of poisoning

Even if it seems the safest place in the world, your home can hide many pitfalls for our children and we must never let our guard down thinking that nothing bad can happen between our rooms. Unfortunately this is not the case and one of the most serious and unfortunately frequent cases is the so-called poisoning by household products. Detergents, soaps, various materials can constitute a real danger for our little ones. Let's see how to avoid it.



As long as we have babies, the problem does not arise: being in the arms, in the high chair or in the bouncer, the risk of coming into contact with toxic products is practically nil. The trouble is when the discovery phase begins, which coincides with the period in which the little ones begin to crawl or walk. And to put everything in your mouth. Right now moms and dads have to keep their eyes far more than open to prevent their child from getting hurt or, even worse, risk poisoning from household products.

Products that cause intoxication

Detergents and companies are one of the main causes of resorting to poison control centers, as well as first aid for accidents at home. Here is the list of substances that most often cause intoxication:

  • caustic;
  • insecticides;
  • detergents;
  • various products such as plant fertilizers, alcohol, drugs, desiccants, mothballs etc .;
  • pile;
  • thermometers (especially old mercury ones);
  • solvents, paints, stationery materials (less frequently).

Caustics are the most dangerous because, as their name suggests, they have the power to burn and corrode what they come into contact with, therefore also tissues, skin, mucous membranes and so on. They therefore represent the number 1 danger for poisoning from household products.



Household Product Poisoning: Who It Affects and When

Which age groups are most at risk for these accidents? Children aged 12 to 36 months are more often involved and, albeit to a lesser extent, those aged 3 to 6. In school age, poisoning of this type is significantly reduced as awareness of the danger grows. A small child, on the other hand, who tends to carry everything in his mouth also for the sake of discovery, could easily "taste" a tablet for the dishwasher (they also have captivating colors) or take a sip of bleach as if he were drinking from a bottle. With potentially fatal consequences.

Statistically, males are more prone to poisoning from household products than females. Most of these accidents occur between 9 and 23 with two peaks: between 11 and 14 and between 18 and 21. These times confirm the general trend of injuries in the home, which usually occur around the time. of meals or during their preparation.

The causes of poisoning with household products

There are two main causes:

  1. the habit of storing detergents and other dangerous substances in places that are easily accessible to children;
  2. the transfer of toxic products into anonymous bottles or bottles originally intended for another use, such as water bottles.

In most cases the product is ingested. Ingestion is the most dangerous route because the substance immediately comes into contact with tissues and mucous membranes and is absorbed faster by the body, causing serious damage. Less common are cases of inhalation, mostly caused by exposure to "cocktail" of detergents.


What to do to prevent accidents

Obviously, our little explorers never get lost? The first rule seems trivial, but we often don't think about it enough: putting any substance that is harmful to children out of their reach can save their life. No low cabinets or closets where they can reach easily. Take the utmost precautions: our children can surprise us by getting even where we never thought they could go.



Yes, therefore, with high shelves or cabinets, closed wardrobes or placed where the little one does not go alone (for example on the balcony). In addition to detergents, solvents, alcohol and all the rest, do it with drugs as well: a blister of colored pills can make you think they are tasty candies ... Never leave them even on the bedside table in the room. Also, avoid placing toxic products and food or drinks near it, just as it is better to avoid pouring dangerous liquids into bottles of water (white spirit, for example, would not stand out: it is transparent like normal water).

How to intervene in case of poisoning

What to do if, on the other hand, our baby puts a harmful substance in his mouth? It is essential not to panic, even if obviously it is not easy. Immediately you must go to the emergency room taking the ingested product with you, even if there are no particular symptoms. If the emergency facility is far away, call 118 or a poison control center (you can find the list of those and the villages HERE). Unless told by the poison control center, don't induce vomiting - it could make things worse. Unlike what is often said in these cases, do not give milk: fats favor the absorption of some toxic substances.


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