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Cleaning products could cause 'chemical burns' to eyes

A lead consultant at Birmingham Children's Hospital's emergency department has warned parents that some cleaning products could cause chemical burns if they were to get into a child's eyes.

Campaign groups are urging people to ensure their children are protected from potentially dangerous chemicals in the home.

The emergency department sees a number of children who have swallowed household cleaning products or got them in their eyes. It is important to recognise that some of these products are toxic.

They can cause chemical burns to the eyes which have to be treated via prolonged and unpleasant washing to flush the chemical out.

If swallowed, some chemicals like these can cause a very upset tummy and, rarely, burns to the mouth, throat and stomach.

As a parent myself, I know only too well how ingenious toddlers can be, in getting into places that they shouldn't, including the kind of places that we think are completely secure.

– Dr Ben Stanhope, lead consultant at Birmingham Children's Hospital

Cleaning products must be 'out of reach' from children

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents say parents need to ensure cleaning products are kept out of reach from children as child resistant containers will only 'slow down' a child's access to the product.

It doesn't take long for tiny hands to get hold of a household cleaning product if they are not stored safely.

Cleaning products are often stored under the sink or by the toilet, but we want parents to recognise the risk this can pose to their children.

Child resistant containers will simply slow down a child's access to the contents so it is vitally important that parents and carers take simple steps of putting household products out of reach and out of sight in order to prevent unnecessary accidents.

– Sheila Merrill, RoSPA's Public Health Advisor

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Campaign groups warn of dangers of cleaning products

Campaign groups are joining together at Birmingham Children’s Hospital today to urge parents to take action to ensure their children are protected from potentially dangerous cleaning products in the home.

RoSPA say child safety locks are not always a sufficient deterrent Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the UK Cleaning Products Association (UKCPI) are working together to change packaging and improve safety so that injuries are prevented in young children.

The groups will be targeting families with toddlers and have produced handy magnetic notepads which feature key safety advice to prevent accidental poisonings from everyday items. They will be distributed to 60,000 families across the city and surrounding areas.

RoSPA say there were 606 children treated at hospitals across Birmingham and Solihull for accidental poisonings involving household cleaning products or medication last year.