Prevent chemical burns in young children

Note:

Chemical burns need evaluation and treatment. Call the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 for specific treatment for a chemical burn. Have the product container with you when you call.

Burns can result from contact with a solid, powdered, or liquid chemical. A chemical burn may be serious because of the action of the corrosive or irritating chemicals on the skin. A chemical burn on the skin is often deeper and larger than it may first appear. Chemical fumes and vapors can also irritate or damage the body, especially the skin, lungs, and eyes. A swallowed chemical may be poisonous or may cause burning in the throat and esophagus.

Help protect young children from chemical burns by keeping the following types of items completely out of reach:

  • Acid products, such as toilet cleaners, battery acid, and bleach
  • Alkaline products, such as lime products, plaster and mortar, oven and drain cleaners, fertilizers, and sparks from "sparklers." These products cause serious burns in a very short time because they are able to penetrate and damage the deeper layers of tissue. Alkalis usually cause more tissue damage than acids.

If your children use battery-operated toys, make sure the batteries are in protective casings that require assistance from an adult to open (such as casings secured with screws).

Last Updated: December 3, 2008

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