JOPLIN, Mo. — While cleaning and disinfecting around your home can help prevent the coronavirus and other illnesses, it may pose a different risk to your family.
The CDC says poison control centers saw a 20% increase in calls between January and March this year compared to last year.
Most of those calls involved kids under five years old being exposed to bleach, disinfectants, and hand sanitizers.
Pediatricians at freeman health system say those products should be stored out of reach, out of sight, locked, and in their original container.
They add you should use the product only as the directions say, and don’t mix products, which can cause toxic fumes.
Children should not be in the room while you’re using the product, and make sure the area is well-ventilated.
After sanitizing is done, you can wipe down the surface with water to remove any chemical residue.
If you or your child are exposed, you should call the poison control center or 911 if symptoms are severe.
Dr. Kimra Ross, Pediatrician, Freeman Health System, said, “So the first thing would probably be a feeling of irritation in the nose or in the throat, the person may develop cough, shortness of breathe, asthma can be triggered of course by any strong fumes. And then progressing to worse lung problems, the person may start to feel dizzy, they may feel nauseous.”
Dr. Ross also says when using bleach, to dilute it properly and make sure its not expired.
Color safe bleach and low splash bleach are not recommended for disinfecting.