Study: Cosmetic products send kids to E.R. every 2 hours

Top products to tuck away are nail and hair care bottles

Brian Pascus, CBS News

Even though millions of people use them for our daily appearance, personal care and cosmetic products like shampoo and nail polish remover can be hazardous for kids. A new study finds that every two hours in the U.S., a child is brought to the emergency room due to unintentional exposure to such products.

Conducted over 15 years by the Center for Injury Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the study found that between 2002 and 2016, approximately 64,686 children under the age of 5 got emergency treatment for such injuries.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, found 75% of injuries from cosmetic products occurred when a child swallowed a product, while 19% occurred when a product made contact with a child’s eyes. The three most common types of products that caused injuries in young children were nail care (28%), hair products (27%) and skin care (25%). Nail polish remover was the individual product that caused the single most injuries among children.

“When you think about what young children see when they look at these products, you start to understand how these injuries can happen,” said Rebecca McAdams, a co-author of the study and a Nationwide Children’s Hospital researcher. “Kids this age can’t read, so they don’t know what they are looking at. They see a bottle with a colorful label that looks or smells like something they are allowed to eat or drink, so they try to open it and take a swallow. When the bottle turns out to be nail polish remover instead of juice, or lotion instead of yogurt, serious injuries can occur.”

According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, parents and child caregivers can increase safety by making sure personal care products are stored safely and locked out of sight, never left unattended, and are kept in their original containers.