Toddler hospitalised after drinking toilet cleaner

New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS): A two-year-old boy was admitted to a city hospital after he accidentally drank bathroom cleaner kept in an empty soft drink bottle.

Doctors attending to him fear it may cause some damage to his internal organs.

According to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) where the child is being treated, 20-25 such cases come every year with peak incidence between one and three years of age.

"Acids kept in empty soft-drink and mineral water bottles within the reach of innocent toddlers and children lead to catastrophic accidents," said Nishant Wadhwa, pediatric gastroenterologist, SGRH.

Wadhwa said the time within which a child gets medical attention in such cases matters a lot.

"Due to late referral and absence of timely insertion of feeding tube, a child cannot eat or drink anything. Due to inability to feed, the defence mechanism against infections is compromised, leading to complications," he said.

If not treated, ingestion of small amount (10 ml) can lead to irreversible and permanent damage to food pipe resulting in lifelong inability to eat and drink.

Listing out safety measures, Wadhwa says the poisonous substances should be kept in secure places out of children's reach.

"Potential household poisons should not be transferred to empty containers otherwise used for innocuous food or beverages. The containers should not be left on the ground," he added.


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