Accidental disinfectant poisonings in children on the rise during pandemic

Woman with a pack of detergents
Woman with a pack of detergents (CNN)

CNN – When his daughter was born, Alex Kaplan thought his home was babyproof. He was wrong.

"We have a wily little girl," said Kaplan, who lives in Washington, D.C. "At 9 months old, she managed to open a childproof — in air quotes — bottle of acetaminophen."

When Kaplan found her, she was smeared in a sticky mess from putting the gel caps in her mouth. "Acetaminophen, we came to learn, is very dangerous and dose-dependent," said Kaplan, who called poison control then headed to the closest emergency room.

Kaplan's daughter was fine, but accidental poisoning is a serious problem for American kids.

More than 300 children are treated for poisoning each day in emergency departments across the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On average, two of those kids will die.

As Americans spend more time at home trying to safeguard their families against Covid-19, accidental poisonings are on the rise. And some experts believe the spike is due to the very same cleaning products parents are using to protect their families from infection.

Why have poisonings increased?