As Kids Stay Home From School, Poison Control Centers Seeing More Accidental Poisoning Cases

Published: Friday, April 17, 2020 - 3:39pm

Arizona’s poison control centers are seeing an alarming increase in accidental poison ingestion cases across the state. 

As children remain at home and parents stock up on cleaning supplies over coronavirus fears, the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center says it’s seen a nearly 50% increase in calls, according to the center’s Director Maureen Roland. She says the numbers most likely will continue to climb.

"Especially with kids under the age of 12, we’ve seen about a 12% increase, just in general with medications and other household items," she said.

Roland said her team has seen more cases of accidental ingestion of cleaning supplies. A parent might put window cleaner in a bottle meant for a sports drink, or they might mix chemicals and inhale toxic gases.

"The fears right now have obviously got people buying more of these products and having them in the home," Roland said. "Our recommendation is that people make sure they think about these products and put them up and away."

Summer is usually the busy season for poison control centers in Arizona, Roland said.

"Right now too, we’re going into our busier months, the summer season, so we have scorpions out, and rattlesnakes," she said. "So we’re starting to see an uptick in both of those categories as well."

Standard safety procedures like checking your shoes for scorpions and watching for rattlesnakes on hiking trails still apply, Roland said.

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