During National Poison Prevention Week, limit poison exposure by storing cleaning products safely

In March, the Kentucky Poison Control Center of Norton Children’s Hospital saw a 30% increase...
In March, the Kentucky Poison Control Center of Norton Children’s Hospital saw a 30% increase in overall exposure calls related to disinfectants.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 4:25 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WECT) - North Carolina Poison Control (NCPC) reported a 23% increase in exposure to household cleaning products in 2020 compared with the previous year with 47% of those exposures involving children age five and under.

Although most exposures are unintentional, NCPC handled over 7,000 cases related to cleaning products like bleach, disinfectants, and other kitchen and laundry cleaners, in 2020.

During National Poison Prevention Week (March 21-27, 2021), poison control cautions people to use products as directed and to store them safely to avoid potential harm.

If you suspect someone has been poisoned, calling poison control at 1-800-222-1222, will put you in touch with specially trained nurses, pharmacists and doctors who can help resolve any concerns and often prevent a hospital visit.

“Not all cleaning products are equally dangerous,” said Dr. Michael Beuhler, MD, Medical Director of North Carolina Poison Control. “When you contact poison control, we can help you figure that out.”

NCPC recommends the following steps to help prevent poisoning:

  • Store cleaning products up and away from children after every use.
  • Don’t mix chemicals.
  • Don’t confuse surface cleaning wipes with personal care wipes. While they may look alike, surface wipes contain harsh chemicals that can damage the skin.
  • Follow all instructions on the label, especially using protective equipment like gloves.
  • Program the number to North Carolina Poison Control into your phone: 1-800-222-1222.

Click here for a list of top substances involved in childhood poison exposure. And, check here to see the top substances involved in adult poison exposures.

Help prevent poison exposure by reading labels carefully before taking medications or using cleaning products, and by storing all hazardous products out of reach of children.

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