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Health scare of the week: Poisoned by spray cleaners

Cleaning products are the most dangerous things in the house for children under age 5.

If you’re a parent with young children, a new study says, the most dangerous things in your house are cleaning products. Each year some 12,000 kids under age 5 are treated in emergency rooms for exposure to everything from bleaches (the most common cause of injury) to detergents and spot removers. The most hazardous container, researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found, is the spray bottle, which is responsible for about 40 percent of those toxic injuries. Spray cleaners usually don’t have child-resistant caps, and for many kids, they’re too appealing to resist: colorfully packaged, sweetly scented, and with handles that beg to be squeezed. “Kids will put their mouths on the nozzle and drink it in,” Yale pediatrician Carl Baum, who was not involved in the study, tells USA Today. Of those injured, roughly 6 percent face a life-threatening situation or suffer long-term disabilities.

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