Study: Cosmetic products send a child to the ER every 2 hours

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(WCMH) — A study conducted by Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that personal care products send a young child to the emergency room every two hours.

The study, published Monday in Clinical Pediatrics, used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance system for children under the age of 5 who were treated in US emergency departments between 2002 and 2016.

According to the results, an estimated 64,686 children were treated for cosmetic-related injuries.

In 86% of cases, the injury involved poisoning. In 14% of cases, a chemical burn was reported.

Injuries were most commonly associated with nail care (28.3%), hair care (27.0%), skin care (25.0%), and fragrance (12.7%) products. 

“When you think about what young children see when they look at these products, you start to understand how these injuries can happen,” said Rebecca McAdams, MA, MPH, co-author of this study and senior research associate in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s. “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.”

McAdams says the ease of access to the products is also of concern.

“Children watch their parents use these items and may try to imitate their behavior. Since these products are often stored in easy to reach places and are not typically in child?resistant containers, it is can be easy for kids to get to and open the bottles,” said McAdams. “Because these products are
currently not required to have child?resistant packaging, it is important for parents to put them away immediately after use and store them safely up, away, and out of sight preferably in a cabinet or closet with a lock or a latch. These simple steps can prevent many injuries and trips to the emergency department.”

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