Calls to Poison Control Centers rise during COVID-19 pandemic

Family Healthcast

(WSYR-TV) — Are you using household cleaners and hand sanitizers like never before?

They help keep out homes COVID-19 free, but they’re also causing serious problems right now. A new study finds calls to Poison Control Centers are way up.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Poison Control Centers received more than 45,000 exposure calls from January through March. This is up 20 percent from this same time last year.

The CDC reported two anonymous cases. In one, family members found an unresponsive preschool-age child who had ingested an unknown amount of a 64-ounce bottle of ethanol-based hand sanitizer. The bottle was found open on the kitchen table.

The child was admitted to the pediatric ICU and sent home after 48 hours.

In another case, a woman, who had heard about the importance of cleaning procedures, mixed bleach and vinegar in hot water in her kitchen sink to wash the food.

The mixture created chlorine gas, which the woman inhaled. She was able to call 911 and recovered after being rushed to the hospital.

Doctors who work at Poison Control Centers are also reporting some people have been improvising with things like ethanol and alcoholic beverages in order to navigate around shortages of hand sanitizers.

If used appropriately that can be safe, but people need to educate themselves. The doctors say expect Poison Control Centers calls to be up for April.

As always, stay home and stay safe.


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