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Most Children's Caregivers Ignorant About Household Poisons

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Less than one-third of people who cared for children younger than age six knew the toxicity of common household products, a new U.S. study found.

"Young children are at risk of household chemical ingestion and their caretakers often do not have a good understanding of how toxic those chemical are. Parental education needs to be focused more on younger caretakers with more children," study leader Dr. Rika N. O'Malley, of the Albert Einstein Medical Center, said in a prepared statement.

The researchers screened primary caregivers who visited emergency departments, asking them to identify toxic items from a list of common household products. People with a higher level of education, responsibility for fewer children, and those more than 23 years old were more likely to have knowledge of household poisons.

The study was presented Friday at a meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

The researchers said doctors needed to boost efforts to educate primary caregivers about the risks of household toxins.

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