Red Cross warns on child poisoning


A new British Red Cross survey is warning of the dangers of accidental poisoning in children.

New figures show that cases of child poisoning at home are increasing across the country with many being attributed to children eating brightly coloured capsules of detergents.

Recent findings have revealed that there has been close to 1,500 reported poisoning cases involving the capsules – known as ‘liquitabs’ – with 96 percent of the incidents involving children under the age of five.

Research also found that more than 40% of all parents with a child under 13 admitted to having no first aid training at all.

You can learn first aid online for free by taking our free online first aid course. Just work through the presentations and activities then test yourself with the free first aid quizzes.

John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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6 Responses

  1. moonmoon says:

    That’s a real shame, that these detergent capsules are becoming such a problem. I know in the US, law makers have advocated for changing the pods so they’re less colorful and thus less likely to be seen as candy, but I’m not sure if that’s also the case in the UK. If there was a way to child proof the capsules that would be ideal, but until changes are made it’s extra important for parents to know both the signs of poisoning and basic first aid.

  2. sillyeggplant says:

    I find it quite shocking that 40% of parents surveyed had no basic first aid training, and it make me grateful for having a nurse as a mother. I think that basic first aid should be a class taught to all new parents. Parents are there to help and nurture their child, and if the occasion arises, save them.

  3. katews says:

    I wondered when I saw the title if one of the main culprits was going to be those detergent packets, and I see that’s indeed what it is. I happen to know from experience that some of them smell wonderful but I’ve always had a problem understanding how they could be mistaken for candy… especially since [at least the ones I use] are so large.

    I keep detergent packets on a shelf in the garage (where my washer is) just as high as they can be so that I can still reach them. I’ve always made sure my daughter knew that they were “soap” and used to wash clothes and then keep them out of reach.

    First aid, at least on a very basic level should be required… That would be so beneficial, I think! Just like “you don’t leave this hospital without a car seat” it could be “you don’t leave this hospital without passing this 20 question first aid quiz.”

  4. cpefley says:

    That is terrible! I know exactly what they are talking about, because there was a similar warning in the US. They are very pretty, and I can see how a child can think they are sweets! Terrible that they are poisonous! Why do cleaning products have to be so dangerous?

  5. Kteabc says:

    We keep all chemicals and soaps in a childproof locked cabinet. It’s the only way to be safe.
    Pets can be poisoned with detergent pods too! There are many numerous other things that are extremely dangerous for pets. If you have a pet please research what can kill them, like raisins and grapes can kill a dog very quickly.

  6. maxine says:

    This make me angry. Everyone should know that detergents and medicine should be put out of reach of children or in a locked box.
    Warning signs are on containers for a reason. They should be READ!!

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