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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 13 April 2021
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Over 700 children ate liquid detergent tablets in four years

Parents are being asked to store the detergents more safely.

Image: Shutterstock/Steve Cordory

PARENTS AND CHILDMINDERS are being urged to store washing detergent more safely after new figures showed over 700 children had ingested liquitabs between 2011 and 2014.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and the National Poisons Information Centre (NPIC) said that young children are mistaking the tablets for sweets or toys.

In the period from 2011 to 2014 there were over 720 enquiries to the National Poisons Information Centre at Beaumount Hospital about liquitabs, the majority of these involved children under 3.

Dr Edel Duggan, Clinical Director with the National Poisons Information Centre says accidental exposure to these products can be very dangerous for small children.

“If the liquid comes into contact with the eyes it can cause conjunctivitis, eye pain and damage to the cornea potentially resulting in temporary blindness. If the liquid is swallowed, it can result in severe vomiting and respiratory distress. It can also cause a rash if it comes into contact with the skin.”

She said that parents should store the tablets out of sight and out of reach.

In case of accidental exposure, the HSA and NPIC advise that if the liquid is swallowed, rinse as much of the detergent as possible from the child’s mouth with water and do not induce vomiting.

If it comes into contact with the hands, wash thoroughly. If it gets into a child’s eyes, rinse them carefully with water for 10-15 minutes. In any event call a doctor, the Poison Control Centre (01 – 809 2166) or go to your nearest medical emergency department.

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