Pediatric Injuries From Household Products Declining

While cleaning product-related injuries fell 46 percent from 1990 to 2006, overall number is high
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The number of annual household cleaning product-related injuries in children treated in U.S. emergency departments decreased nearly 50 percent between 1990 and 2006, though the overall number of injuries remains high, according to research published online Aug. 2 in Pediatrics.

Lara B. McKenzie, Ph.D., of the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues extracted records from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System 1990 to 2006 database on unintentional, nonfatal injuries related to a wide variety of household cleaning products, such as drain cleaners, ammonia, bleach, metal polishes, turpentine, detergents, swimming pool chemicals, oven cleaners, and disinfectants.

The researchers estimated that there were 267,269 children age 5 years or younger treated in emergency departments for injuries related to household cleaning products during the study period, 72 percent of them in the 1 to 3 age group. These injuries showed a downward trend, with 22,141 injuries in 1990 declining to 11,964 in 2006, a 46 percent drop. The product most commonly linked to injuries was bleach (37.1 percent), and the primary mechanism of injury was ingestion (62.7 percent). The most common source/container was a spray-bottle (40.1 percent), which showed a constant trend over the study period, while injuries from regular bottles or original containers and kitchenware decreased.

"Although our findings demonstrate decreases in household cleaning product-related injuries over time, efforts to prevent these types of injuries are still needed," the authors write.

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