Narcotics and Water Beads Top Pediatric Poisoning Safety Concerns

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently released a report on unintentional pediatric poisonings. It highlights an increase in unintentional poisoning from narcotics, over-the-counter medications, and water beads.

Unintentional Pediatric Poisonings

The report found that 98 children under the age of five died from poisonings in 2022. That’s a 66% increase from the previous year, and the deaths were largely linked to narcotics and psychodysleptics.

Pediatric poisoning fatalities have been increasing steadily in the United States since 2019. There were 68,600 emergency department-treated injuries in children under the age of five in 2022 associated with poisoning, which is approximately a 10% increase from 2022.

From 2021 to 2022, the approximate number of incidents treated in emergency departments increased for acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and narcotics:

  • Acetaminophen incidents went from 4,700 injuries treated in emergency departments to 5,700.
  • Ibuprofen incidents increased from 2,000 to 3,600.
  • Narcotics medication incidents increased from 1,200 to 2,500.

To prevent poisoning, keep drugs and medications securely stored in a locked cabinet or box out of reach of children. Do not store them in unsecured containers; use the original child-resistant containers. Note that child-resistant doesn’t mean childproof.

Be sure to properly discard unfinished or unused medications. Keep medicine out of children’s reach and sight.

Additional Product Safety Warnings for Water Beads

CPSC issued two new product safety warnings related to water bead products. CPSC urged consumers to throw away water beads from Jangostor and Tuladuo due to acrylamide levels that present the risk of toxicity. Water beads are hazardous due to ingestion, expansion, and obstruction concerns, and many major retailers have stopped selling them as children’s products. The large water beads CPSC issued warnings about contain levels of acrylamide that violate the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Nearly 7,000 water bead-related ingestion injuries were treated in US emergency departments between 2018 and 2022.

Household Items

Laundry packets, household cleaning supplies, and button cell batteries are all common items that pose a pediatric poisoning risk. Store laundry packets in their original containers and out of sight and reach of children. Don’t let children handle laundry detergent packets. Keep household chemicals and cleaning supplies stored safely out of reach of children. Do not remove them from the original child-resistant containers.

Keep items with accessible batteries away from children if the battery compartments aren’t secured with a screw closure or if that compartment is damaged. Check toys to ensure battery compartments are secured. Don’t allow children to play with or be in contact with button cell or coin batteries. This includes key fobs and garage door openers.

In case of emergency, call the National Poison Help Line at 800-222-1222.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.