TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Over a 15-year period, nearly 65,000 youngsters under 5 years of age were treated in U.S. emergency departments for injuries related to personal care products, a new study reports.
"Even though it seems to be a small number over 15 years, these data represent people, a child. It's rare, but when it happens to you, it's devastating," said study author Rebecca McAdams. She's a senior research associate at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
According to the National Poison Data System, personal care products caused seven deaths in children between 1999 and 2015.
What kinds of products should you be concerned about? The researchers said personal care products are those that "cleanse, beautify, promote attractiveness or alter appearance." They include:
"Kids this age are naturally inquisitive. They're naturally exploring by putting things in their mouths," McAdams said. "These products are enticing, and kids can't read. They can't discern between what's lotion and yogurt, or what's chocolate versus a body exfoliant."
Dr. Jeffrey Fine, a pediatric toxicologist in the emergency department at NYU Langone Health in New York City, said fortunately most of these products don't cause serious injuries or deaths.
Still, Fine said, it's important to keep them out of little ones' hands. Even a small bottle of perfume can cause intoxication in a child, he pointed out, because the fragrance is mixed in 100 percent alcohol.
The new study looked at medical records from 2002 through 2016. The data came from about 100 U.S. hospitals, including eight children's hospitals. Researchers focused on children under age 5 who were treated in emergency departments for personal care product injuries.
From year to year, the number of injuries remained steady. Researchers had hoped to see a decline in the numbers over time.
Nail care products, especially nail polish remover, caused about 28 percent of injuries, followed by hair care (27 percent) and skin care (25 percent) products. Perfumes caused about 13 percent of the injuries, the findings showed.
About 60 percent of those injured were under age 2. Poisoning occurred in 86 percent of the injuries, usually when a child swallowed a product. Other injuries included chemical burns of the skin or eyes.
More than half of kids who were admitted to the hospital had been exposed to hair care products, such as hair relaxe