85,000 Children Under Age 5 are Unintentionally Poisoned Annually

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), an estimated 85,000 children under the age of five are unintentionally poisoned every year in the United States. It is a shocking statistic that all adults should know but that far too few understand, especially when considering the fact that more than 75 percent of all those poisonings occurred in the home.

Young children do not have a proper sense of what is safe and what is harmful, leading them to encounter substances which can be toxic or poison with disregard. It is critical that adults, including parents, caregivers, school teachers and school employees, and those who may share space with young children, understand that they must act appropriately in preventing access to these poisons to ensure that all kids remain safe.

According to the CPSC, the following are the top 10 products associated with pediatric poisoning:

  • Blood Pressure Medicine
  • Acetaminophen
  • Anti-Depressants
  • Bleach
  • Narcotic Medications
  • Liquid Laundry Packets
  • Ibuprofen
  • Unknown (product unidentifiable)
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Sedatives

These products can be more easily described in one of several categories: prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, cleaning supplies, and other.

When a case of unintentional poisoning happens by prescription medication, the drugs at issue most often belong to an adult caregiver or supervisor who is not used to being around young children. It may be a grandparent who volunteers to watch a child for a few hours or a day or it may be another adult who happens to be around a minor. These incidents most often occur because medication is left in an area where a child can access it, like a purse or an unsecured cabinet in a kitchen. A similar result happens with over-the-counter medication that may seem harmless to those who are not used to kids but that can be deadly if ingested by young people. Parents are more familiar with the tendencies of their children to explore and put anything in their mouths and therefore are somewhat less likely to be in possession of medication that can be accessed by a child but can still be a cause for unintentional injuries.

Newer cleaning products, especially laundry detergent packets, have been to blame for an increasing number of poisonings across the nation. These packs are often small enough to fit entirely inside a child’s mouth and they may be vividly colored, making them intriguing to the young. Tragically, several deaths have been linked to the ingestion of these packets and of other cleaning products, highlighting just how dangerous these substances can be. And in other instances, it may never be determined what caused a child to become ill but that lack of knowledge will not limit the suffering endured by the minor.

If an injury to a child or minor has affected your family or if someone you love was the unintentional victim of poisoning, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages, including any medical expenses you endured. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to all victims who contact us toll free at (855) 529-2442, locally at (312) 924-7575, or online and we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe in fighting for those who have been hurt. If an injury has happened to you, call us today and let us help you obtain the relief you deserve.

Prior Blog Entry:

Car Accidents Expected during Weekend Travel, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 24, 2016.


National Poison Prevention Week, CPSC Blogger, published March 17, 2016.

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