SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Many people are taking extra precautions when it comes to cleaning. That’s resulted in a sharp increase of daily calls to poison control centers for exposures to cleaners and disinfectants.
Hand sanitizer and household cleaning products were stripped from store shelves at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
With more products being used, poison control centers across the country are seeing an increase in calls.
“Which in a lot of ways is not surprising. I mean, given that probably most families have a whole lot more hand sanitizer and cleaning products and things around to try to disinfect from the COVID-19. A lot of those aren’t necessarily, those containers aren’t necessarily made to be childproof,” Dr. Sam Schimelpfenig said.
Which is why Avera pediatrician Dr. Sam Schimelpfenig says it’s important to keep these products in a safe place.
That’s especially true when products look less like chemicals, and more like a fruit juice.
“There’ll be like a picture of an orange or something on there cause it’s got citrus, and for the kid, they see a picture of fruit and associate that with something that they eat, that they like and don’t know any better,” Schimelpfenig said.
He says caution is also necessary when using hand sanitizer, with its main ingredient being alcohol.
No matter which product a child gets into, his advice to parents remains the same.
“Usually my, my standard advice whenever a child gets into anything like that is to call poison control. And they’re going to be our resource of what do we need to worry about and what do we need to do next,” Schimelpfenig said.
He says he’s happy to see so many taking hygiene and cleaning guidelines seriously, but hopes his advice will serve as a good reminder to clean up safely.
If you’re using cleaning products that give off fumes, try to open up the windows to avoid health issues from inhaling the products.
If you need to call the poison control hotline the number is 1-800-222-1222.