Most caregivers lack basic knowledge of toxic household products

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Washington, June 1 : A new study has revealed that most of the caregivers of young children lack basic knowledge of potentially hazardous household products.

The new study led by Dr Rika N. O'Malley, of the Albert Einstein Medical Centre revealed that less than one-third of primary caregivers for children under the age of six could correctly estimate the toxicity of household poisons.

For the study the researchers screened primary caregivers of young children who visited emergency departments, and asked participants to identify toxic items from a list of common household products.

"Young children are at risk of household chemical ingestion and their caretakers often do not have good understanding how toxic those chemicals are," said O'Malley.

"Parental education needs to be focused more on younger caretakers with more children," she added.

However, the study did identify a number of factors that increased the likelihood of knowledge of household poisons.

These include more education, responsibility for fewer children and an age greater than twenty-three years.

The study is being presented at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine's 2008 Annual Meeting.

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