Poison centre records surge of child poisonings with sanitising gel

Poison centre records surge of child poisonings with sanitising gel
© Belga

Belgium's poison control centre has recorded a sharp increase in the number of incidents involving children and sanitising gel solutions since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

The numbers recorded since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Belgium have increased by more than fivefold compared to figures from last year.

Since March, as hand sanitising solutions became increasingly present in households, shops and other businesses, the centre has recorded 505 incidents.

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Over half of those incidents (300) involve children, with the centre reporting that incidents often involve accidental ingestion or contact of the gel with kids' eyes.

"A majority of cases involve children who got some gel in their mouths, which can lead to intoxications," the centre told La Libre.

"Getting gel inside the eyes can be irritating and painful, but it's momentary, it does not lead to permanent damage," it added.

Outdoors, restaurants, shops and other businesses have set up sanitising hand gel pumps for customers, which are often at child-height.

"We recommend adults to assist children with the gel dispenser, pumping out the gel themselves onto the child's hands," the centre wrote.

The rise of incidents involving hand-gel and children comes after the centre had already reported a surge in intoxications which also happened in the context of the coronavirus crisis, as people began experimenting with diverse chemicals to clean or sanitise.

The Brussels Times

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