New study reveals home care products causes highest number of emergency cases among children

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

New findings by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital have revealed that a growing number of children are vulnerable to treatments caused by exposure to personal care products. Most of such incidences have resulted due to swallowing of the product (75.7%) or due to eye contact (19.3%), often leading to poisoning (86.2%) and chemical burns (13.8%).

The study highlights that products such as shampoo, make-up, cologne, lotion or nail polish are harmful to children, leading to emergency treatment of about 64,686 children within 2002 through 2016, this is equal to one child every two hours. The top three products prompting injuries are nail care products (28.3%), hair care products (27.0%), skin care products (25.0%) and fragrance products (12.7%). Majority of the emergency cases were due to nail polish remover (17.3%); followed by hair care products (52.4%) such as permanent solutions and hair relaxers.

The study also unveiled such occurrences were more common among children younger than 2 years of age, the risk percentage being almost 60%. “When you think about what young children see when they look at these products, you start to understand how these injuries can happen. Kids this age can’t read, so they don’t know what they are looking at. They see a bottle with a colorful label that looks or smells like something they are allowed to eat or drink, so they try to open it and take a swallow. When the bottle turns out to be nail polish remover instead of juice, or lotion instead of yogurt, serious injuries can occur,” commented Rebecca McAdams, MA, MPH, co-author of the research study.

Moreover, the researchers draw attention to the fact that children try to imitate the behavior of their parents when they see them using such products. Easy access to personal care products was also a crucial reason that increased the number of emergency cases. Researchers advise that parents need to lock such products safely and out of reach of children to avoid perilous situations.

The study published in Clinical Pediatrics provides safety guidelines to parents and caregivers.