Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Paediatr Child Health. 2006 Mar;42(3):129-33.

Serious injuries from dishwasher powder ingestions in small children.

Author information

1
Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Starship Children's Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand. amybertinelli@hotmail.com

Abstract

AIMS:

To describe patterns and severity of caustic injuries sustained from dishwasher powder ingestion and highlight need for national safety standards.

METHODS:

Retrospective chart review of admissions for caustic ingestion to Starship Children's Hospital from January 2003 to January 2005 and review of New Zealand National Poisons Centre data.

RESULTS:

Between January 2003 and January 2005, the National Poisons Centre recorded 610 dishwashing powder ingestions, with 88% of children less than 2 years old. Twenty-three children were admitted to Starship Children's Hospital following caustic ingestion, of whom 11 were identified as having ingested dishwasher powder (9 boys and 2 girls) and were aged 11 to 30 months (mean 17.5). Five children (45%) were admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit over 4 months (October 2004 to January 2005), requiring intubation for airway control. Two children needed tracheostomy. Three of the 11 children (27%) required repeated oesophageal dilatation, and two underwent gastrostomy formation. One brand of dishwasher detergent and container type was implicated in over half of the cases.

CONCLUSIONS:

Dishwasher detergents are highly corrosive substances that cause potentially life-threatening injuries and ongoing morbidity. The recent surge of incidents may be related to change in product constituents or non-compliance with New Zealand safety standards. Efforts to limit product alkalinity, legislative requirement of Child-Resistant Packaging and public education may reduce injuries from these common household substances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center