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Warning after 160 children attend Airedale Hospital A&E due to poisoning

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MORE than 160 children aged under ten have attended Airedale Hospital 's Emergency Department in the past two years suffering from poisoning, new figures show.

And 31 were admitted as patients during that same period, 2012-14.

The statistics also reveal that many of the youngsters attending A&E – 146 out of 161 – were under five.

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust is backing a new campaign aimed at protecting children from the risks of household cleaning products.

The national initiative has been launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the UK Cleaning Products Industry Association (UKCPI).

Dr Dominic Hewitt, consultant in emergency medicine at Airedale, said: "We fully support the work that is being done.

"We commonly see children who have bitten into washing capsules or drunk Calpol. These are preventable injuries which could easily be avoided by keeping hazardous chemicals and drugs out of the reach of children.

"If a child has come into contact with chemicals, we advise ringing 111 immediately or in the event of a serious reaction, calling 999. Whilst waiting for specific advice there are a few first aid measures which can be considered.

"For anything that has been eaten or drunk we would normally recommend drinking some water. We would never advise making someone sick, partly because there is a risk of inhaling stomach contents and partly because it re-exposes the oesophagus and mouth to the poison. This is particularly dangerous with corrosives such as bleach or dishwasher powder and tablets.

"For skin and eye contamination, we recommend brushing off any powder then rinsing the affected area thoroughly. Any liquid should be mopped up without contaminating anyone else, then gently rinsing with water for several minutes."

The campaign is also being backed by Bradford Council's public health department, which is urging parents to be more vigilant with cleaning products.

Dr Shirley Brierley, public health consultant with the council, said: "Common household products can cause serious injury in children and the safe storage of cleaning materials could prevent a number of these incidents.

"We are encouraging parents to find a place in the home for cleaning products that is safe and secure and make sure these products aren't left out unattended.

"Prevention is the best answer but if a child does splash or drink cleaning products, it is very important to get immediate advice on 111 or by ringing 999 if they are suffering from breathing difficulties, drowsiness, sickness or seizures."

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