CPSC Reports 37 Percent Spike in Accidental Child Poisonings in 2021

In honor of National Poison Prevention Week, hear the latest from the safety commission and learn how you can take simple steps to prevent your child from getting into household hazards.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Assistant Editor
Updated March 21, 2023
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Image: komokvm | Shutterstock

It’s National Poison Prevention Week and while child poisoning deaths have fallen by 73 percent since 1972 due to tough federal laws and better parent education, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds caregivers there’s still work to be done.

According to a new release from the organization, there were 149 child poisoning deaths reported in 2021, up 37 percent from 109 in 2020. The majority of these accidents were caused by ingestion of chemicals and medicines found in the home. The report also found that children under the age of five are at the highest risk for accidental poisoning, with 94 percent of the deaths happening in this age group.

“Sadly, this report shows the work that still needs to be done to protect children,” said Alexander Hoehn-Saric, Chair of the CPSC in the release. “Nearly eight out of 10 poisonings occurred in the home. Please take the time to store cleaning supplies, laundry packets, button batteries, and drugs out of children’s reach or in locked cabinets. If you see it lying around, a child can grab and swallow it.”

The CPSC recommends parents take the following steps to prevent accidental poisonings:

  • Store all household chemicals and medicines out of reach and out of sight of children.
  • Keep these items in their original packaging with child-resistant caps.
  • Install child safety locks on cabinets where chemicals and medicines are stored.
  • Keep the poison control hotline number (1-800-222-1222) saved in your phone in case of an emergency.
  • Be aware of common household items that can pose a risk to children, such as laundry detergent pods, button batteries and e-cigarettes. Take special care to store these common items safely and out of reach of children.

While this increase is concerning, it’s important to remember that these tragedies can be prevented. By taking simple steps to keep household hazards out of reach and out of sight of children, you can help keep your little ones stay safe and healthy. Stay up to date on the latest in baby proofing here.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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