Reporting Susan Koeppen
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Household cleaning products may seem just like bottles under the sink to you; but for kids, the bright colors and unique shapes can be very alluring, and that can lead to trouble.
They can get their hands on everything from dish soap to carpet cleaners to laundry detergent. Bleach is the number one cleaning product that kids get into.
And experts are concerned because many of these products don’t come with safety caps.
“It was very scary and terrifying at the moment,” Julie Vukovcan recalls the day her son, Ryan, got into some cleaner under the bathroom sink. “It was in the morning and I was getting ready for work and he got under the cupboards and got a spray bottle, and my first reaction was don’t spray that and he sprayed it right into his eye.”
Ryan ended up being fine, but roughly 12,000 children under the age of 6 are treated each year in the emergency room for accidental poisonings.
According to researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 72 percent of injuries are in children ages 1 to 3 and 40 percent of poisonings come from spray bottles.
“The biggest offenders were bleach and things like pine cleaners and spot removers,” says researcher Lara McKenzie.
KDKA-TV Consumer Editor Susan Koeppen wanted to see what would happen when we gave a group of toddlers spray bottles filled with water.
Within a minute, the children were spraying the bottles. One child sprayed himself in the eye, and a little girl put the nozzle in her mouth.
Experts say you need to lock up cleaners and keep them out of reach of children.
“You always have to have your guard up,” adds Vukovcan. “Don’t let your guard down.”
If your child gets into a cleaning product, you should call the Poison Control Center. The number is 1-800-222-1222.