Danger in beauty products: How to keep your children safe


Curiosity is natural for young children, but it’s also this innocent curiosity that can land them in the hospital.

Parents know that items such as household cleaning products, batteries and laundry pods must be kept out of reach from young children. But there are other products parents need to exercise caution around as well.

From perfume, to nail polish and haircare products, beauty products are a fixture in our homes, but they can also prove dangerous if your child accidentally ingests them.

According to a 15 year-long study by Clinical Pediatrics, these household beauty products send one child under five-years-old to the emergency room every two hours. 

And according to Consumer Reports, between 2002 and 2016 over 64,000 children under the age of five were treated in emergency rooms in the United States due to cosmetic-related injuries. 

About 60 per cent of these injuries afflicted to children under two-years old.

What is the biggest culprit when it comes to ER visits?

Nail polish remover, but more than half of the injuries requiring hospitalization after treatment in the ER were caused by hair care products.

“Most of these injuries were due to kids swallowing personal care products, which led to poisoning. The second most common scenario were these products coming in contact with kids’ skin or eyes leading to a chemical burn,” said Lauren Friedman of Consumer Reports.

So how can you keep your children safe?

For starters, personal care products should be stored securely out of reach and out of sight.

Keep products in their original container, so if your kid does get into something, you’ll know the exact ingredients to tell the poison control center or your pediatrician.

And know where to call if your child does get injured. In British Columbia, it’s the BC Drug and Poison Information Centre at the 1-800-567-8911.

Children explore the world with their mouths, and because these products look good and smell good, children are going to want to get into them. Experts also recommend parents getting on their hands and knees and walking around the house like they’re a child. What they see at eye-level is what their children will try to get into.

If your child has collapsed or is unconscious after ingesting a possible poison, call 9-1-1 immediately. 

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