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RoSPA: 'Cleaning products should be kept out of reach'

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has used an event in Birmingham today to warn parents of the dangers of household chemicals.

The safety group has launched a new campaign at the city's children's hospital, offering fridge magnets with advice to help stop accidents.

Here is Sheila Merrill, RoSPA's public health adviser.


'Cleaning product industry is responding to poisonings'

A representative from the cleaning products industry has been advising parents on how to avoid their children accidentally swallowing harmful chemicals, at an event held today at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Philip Malpass, from the UK Cleaning Products Industry Association, says there are developments in packaging to prevent youngsters getting inside containers of detergent or chemicals.

Mum describes moment son swallowed washing tab

A mother from the Black Country has described the moment her two-year-old son accidentally swallowed a liquid washing tablet as one of the scariest in her life.

Roxanne Tomkinson said she turned her back for just two minutes to find her son Hayden doubled over in the living room and foaming from the mouth.

  1. Chris Halpin

Doctors warn poisonous products in home could kill

Each year tens of thousands of children are admitted to hospital because they've got hold of chemicals which shouldn't be in their reach.

Now safety group RoSPA has chosen Birmingham to pilot a new awareness campaign, to reduce the number of accidents.

One woman from the Black Country told our reporter Chris Halpin the moment her son swallowed a washing machine tab was one of the scariest in her life.

Doctor: children ingesting cleaning products could kill

A leading doctor at Birmingham Children's Hospital has warned about the potentially lethal consequences of children accidentally swallowing cleaning products.

There are 140,000 hospital admissions every year involving children and chemicals or medication.

Dr Ben Stanhope spoke earlier to parents at an event organised by safety charity RoSPA, to warn parents of the dangers and encourage them to keep dangerous household chemicals out of their children's reach.


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

Advice for parents worried about accidental poisoning

RoSPA has issued advice to parents concerned about accidental poisoning in the home.

  • Keep all vitamins and pills safe and away from children
  • Install child-resistant locks on cabinets - which are safer than "child-proof"
  • Store household cleaning products in a locked cupboard
  • DIY and gardening products should also be locked safely away
  • Never keep dangerous products in the fridge
  • If your child does swallow something dangerous, keep a sample of what they swallowed so health professionals have a better idea of how to help
  • Learn basic first aid

Warning from mother after toddler swallowed liquitab

The mother of a toddler who swallowed a liquitab three months ago has thrown her weight behind an awareness campaign warning of the dangers of household cleaning products to children.

Hayden Hodgkinson was 22 months old when he swallowed the washing tablet. He has now fully recovered and healthy.

Hayden Hodgkinson with his mother Roxanne Tomkinson now Credit: ITV News Central

His mother Roxanne Tomkinson spoke to ITV News Central as RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) launches a new campaign in Birmingham to urge parents to take extra caution when using and storing cleaning products.

Around 60,000 families across the city are to get notepads with advice on preventing accidental poisonings.

A liquitab, similar to the one Hayden swallowed Credit: ITV News Central

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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