April 15, 2024

CPSC Report Finds Spike in Child Poisoning Deaths in 2021

A Consumer Product Safety Commission report finds a 37% spike in child poisoning deaths in 2021. Fifty nine children under the age of five years died after gaining access to prescribed or illicit drugs. Nearly 12 children died after ingesting cell or coin batteries from 2017 through 2021. The agency is encouraging consumers to protect their families by taking control of all potentially harmful household products, including medications, drugs, button batteries, laundry packets, and cleaning supplies.

CPSC Report Finds Spike in Child Poisoning Deaths in 2021

National Poison Prevention Week, which was March 20 – 24, 2023 is the 61st year it has been observed. Tough federal laws caused a decrease of 73% in child poisoning deaths since 1972. Laws include the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 and the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015.

Alexander Hoehn-Saric, Chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement, “Sadly, this report shows the work that still needs to be done to protect children. Nearly eight out of 10 poisonings occurred in the home. Please take the time to store cleaning supplies, laundry packets, button batteries, and drugs out of children’s reach or in locked cabinets.  If you see it lying around, a child can grab and swallow it.”

African American children suffer a higher rate of unintentional  pediatric poisoning injuries, of 21.4%, compared to being 15.8% of the United States population according to the report. The five products that are most involved in these poisonings include blood pressure medications, acetaminophen, antidepressants, laundry packets, and bleach.

To help prevent these poisonings, keep medications in a locked cabinet or box out of the reach of children. Always keep meds in the original child-resistant containers and properly discard unfinished or unused meds. Store laundry packets out of a child’s sight and reach. Keep chemicals and cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet in their original child-resistant containers. And keep products with accessible batteries away from children if they are not enclosed in a secure compartment with a screw closure.

This spike in child poisoning can be reduced if everyone takes steps to follow these suggestions.

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