Young Children Don’t Understand the Dangers of Household Cleaners and Rely on Adults to Keep Them Safe
Americans use all types of chemicals on a daily basis – often without even thinking twice about the possible risks posed to children. Common household cleaners can be highly toxic or even deadly if ingested or misused. Unfortunately, young children do not understand these dangers and their curiosity often gets the best of them. Late in their second year, toddlers begin asserting their own identity. They don’t look to adults for permission or guidance and are willing to defy adult commands or rules. Their defiance and need for exploration can lead them to taste a poisonous household cleaner because they like its blue color.
Common Causes of Child Household Cleaner Poisoning
Statistics show that 79 percent of all victims who receive medical treatment for poisoning are children; most of these children are under the age of five. Generally, many of these dangerous and sometimes deadly accidents could have been avoided if proper child supervision – as well as correct warning labels – were in place at the time of the incident. The most dangerous household cleaners include the following:
- Laundry detergent and laundry detergent pods: These products contain Cationic, anionic, or non- ionic solutions and if swallowed can cause nausea, vomiting, shock, convulsions, coma, chemical burns and even death.
- All-purpose cleaner: These products can combine ammonia with chlorine (bleach) and if swallowed can cause severe damage to heart, kidneys, brain. Inhalation can cause dizziness
- Bleach: Contains Sodium hypochlorite solution which can corrode the lining of nose, throat and mouth and can burn skin and eyes.
- Dishwasher Detergent: These products contain Cationic, anionic, or non- ionic solutions plus phosphates
- Window and glass cleaner: These products contain ammonia and isopropanol
- Toilet bowel cleaners: These products contain sodium bisulfate, oxalic acid, 5-dimethyldantoin and Phenol
- Furniture polish: These products contain Ammonia, naphtha, nitrobenzene, petroleum distillates, and phenol
Some common household items in addition to cleaning products that can injury a child if ingested or improperly used include prescription medications, paints, varnishes and paint thinner, drain cleaner, Antifreeze and Windshield Washer Fluid, Rat and Mouse Poison, and pesticides and fertilizers.
While poisonous materials at home must be safely guarded – and preferably locked away and/or put out of reach of small children – these products must also be labeled and packaged in a way that keeps children away. It is important to know that at one time the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended the use of ipecac – a medicine that immediately induces vomiting – it has reversed its position on this issue. This is because research now shows that ipecac is not only an ineffective remedy but its use may also interfere with the effects of other medications used against poison ingestion.
Unsafe Premises (Hotel, Motel, Apartment Complex, Friend or Relatives Homes)
Any person or business that maintains an unsafe premise/property may be found responsible for not taking measures to prevent a child household product poisoning injuries. If a hotel, motel or any other place of public accommodation negligently allows a poisoning hazard to exist on their property we may be able to pursue a claim for damages against the business insurance policy that covers the building.
Often times residential building owners, landlords and businesses will hire a professional maintenance company or property management company to maintain the property and make the necessary repairs. These companies have the same duty as a landlord described above. Failure to live-up to their duty could expose them to a negligence claim.
If a child household product poisoning accident occurred at a friend’s house or relative’s house then the homeowners insurance policy that covers the home may provide coverage for the accident. Going after the homeowners insurance policy of a neighbor or a relative is not the same thing as going after the neighbor or relative personally. People have homeowners insurance for situations like this. You should not fell guilty for bringing an injury claim against someone’s homeowners insurance policy.
Negligent Supervision of Caregiver (Day Care, Nursery, School, Camp, Child Care, etc.)
Any person, facility or business that has been entrusted with the child’s care and safety may be found responsible for not taking measures to prevent child accidents. If your child suffered a fatality or injury because of a careless or negligent caregiver then you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries that could have easily been avoided if proper care and attention had been exercised.
Product Liability for Child Household Cleaner Poisoning
A manufacturer or retailer of the product may be held liable under a products liability action. In products liability, if it can be proved that the product was defectively manufactured, designed or labeled and this fault was the cause of the child’s injury then any entity in the chain of the product’s distribution may be held liable for damages. Some examples of product defects include:
- Defective design
- Defective manufacture
- Defective packaging or bottling
- Defective warnings
Boston Area Personal Injury Attorneys With Experience You Can Count On
Initial Consultations Are Always Free – No Fee Unless We Recover For You
Child household cleaner poisoning accidents commonly occur as a result of another’s negligence or because of a defective product. If your child or someone else’s child has suffered an injury due to household cleaner poisoning, contact an experienced child household cleaner poisoning attorney at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan to learn more about your legal options. Do not suffer through this alone. Those responsible for the child’s injuries should be held accountable.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan have represented the families of child victims for more than 35 years and handle all types of injury cases including those involving accidental child poisoning. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call our law offices today to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 or click the link below to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.
Our Child Housecleaning Product Poisoning Attorneys assist clients throughout all of Massachusetts including, but not limited to, those in the following counties, cities and towns: Plymouth County, Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Westport, Dartmouth, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Hyannis, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury.