Hundreds of people contacted the National Poisons Information Centre of Ireland (NPIC) over laundry tablets and pods in 2019, the centre’s annual report shows.
The NPIC received 324 queries in relation to cleaning sachets, laundry tablets and pods over the course of last year, making them the most common household items identified by the centre.
Last year saw a total of 11,835 enquiries made to the centre – an increase of just over 10 per cent on the year before.
The majority related to children, with around 60 per cent of contact related to incidents involving children under the age of 10, and 45 per cent of enquiries about those aged between one and four.
“In 2019 we recorded an increase of 10.5 per cent in queries to the NPIC. Of those we noted that over 92 per cent of human poisonings occurred in a home setting, so it is really vital that people are aware of common household items which could result in poisoning,” Dr Edel Duggan, Clinical Director of the NPIC said.
With people spending more time than ever at home in 2020, we all need to be aware of the household items which could affect children
“With people spending more time than ever at home in 2020, we all need to be aware of the household items which could affect children, especially younger children who may not recognise the danger of these products.”
Paracetamol and ibuprofen were the medicines that contact was most commonly made about, with multivitamins the third most common medicine associated with queries.
Dr Duggan added: “The Public Poisons Information Line is available seven days a week between 8am and 10pm for queries from the public, aimed at parents, where we can rapidly advise if you need to seek urgent medical attention for your child.
“Outside of these hours, parents should contact their GP service or a hospital emergency department.”
The Public Poisons Information Line can be reached at 01 809 2166.