FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Newswise — Washington, D.C., November 24, 2020 – COVID-19 cases around the country are on the rise and that trend is expected to continue throughout the holidays. As parents continue to be hypervigilant about keeping their homes as clean as possible during the pandemic, it is likely that there will be an increase in demand for, and use of, household cleaning products, which can lead to an increased poisoning danger for kids if not used and stored properly.
To support families during these challenging times, Safe Kids Worldwide has teamed up with the American Cleaning Institute to remind parents and caregivers to be especially attentive about keeping cleaning products out of the reach and sight of children.
Every day, 65 children are seen in the emergency room after getting into household cleaning products and the risk to children has already increased during the pandemic. For example, there has been a 70 percent increase in the number of hand sanitizer exposures reported to poison control centers from January to August compared to the same period in 2019. This could be due to the fact that, in addition to children spending more time at home, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are being sold in flavored form and in containers that look like water bottles, children's food pouches and other beverage containers.
In addition, reported exposures to all cleaning products and disinfectants were 20 percent higher between January to April 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019. Bleaches accounted for the largest increase among all cleaner categories, while nonalcohol disinfectants and hand sanitizers accounted for the largest percentages of the increase among disinfectants.
“We know this is a difficult time for families and when you combine the challenges of raising children during the pandemic with an increase in cleaning products in the home, it’s a perfect storm for poisonings,” said Torine Creppy, president of Safe Kids Worldwide. “We want the holidays to be a time of joy for everyone and remembering to put cleaning products out of reach and sight is a simple, but important step we can all take to protect children and provide parents with a little peace of mind.”
“During the holiday season we remind parents and caregivers to prioritize the safe handling and storage of everyday cleaning products,” said Melissa Hockstad, ACI President & CEO. “By implementing safe storage practices throughout the home, families can celebrate knowing their homes are cleaner and safer while helping to prevent accidental exposures.”
Safe Kids Worldwide and the American Cleaning Institute are sharing the following three 3 tips to help parents keep kids safe around cleaning products during the pandemic:
- Store household products out of children’s reach and sight. Young kids are often eye-level with items on counters and under kitchen and bathroom sinks, so keep cleaning supplies, laundry packets, hand sanitizers and personal care products where children can’t reach them.
- Keep household products in their original containers and read product labels. Use and store products according to the product label. Kids can get into things quickly, so remember not to leave cleaning products or personal care products unattended while you are using them.
- Save the Poison Help number in your phone and post it visibly at home: 1-800-222-1222. Specialists at poison control centers provide free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day. They can answer questions and help with poison emergencies.
ABOUT SAFE KIDS WORLDWIDE
Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization working to protect kids from preventable injuries, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 400 coalitions in the U.S. and with partners in more than 30 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by nearly 60 percent. Join our effort at safekids.org.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN CLEANING INSTITUTE
The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI – www.cleaninginstitute.org) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $60 billion U.S. cleaning product supply chain. ACI members include the manufacturers and formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and chemical distributors. ACI serves the growth and innovation of the U.S. cleaning products industry by advancing the health and quality of life of people and protecting our planet. ACI achieves this through a continuous commitment to sound science and being a credible voice for the cleaning products industry.