Household hazards

The dangers hiding in plain sight around your home.

The home is one of the most common places for young children to be injured, with regular household items proving deadly. 

While safe under most circumstances, items such as hand gel, toilet discs, detergents and vaporisers can become dangerous due to children’s curiosity.  

Queensland Poisons Information Centre manager Carol Wylie said poison specialists were receiving calls daily from parents worried that their children had consumed household products.

“Many products that seem innocuous can be harmful to the health of their children,” Ms Wylie said. 

“We get at least one call a day from parents whose children have tried to consume gel discs in toilets. 

“Many of these products contain cleaning agents that could make a child sick.

“We also regularly get calls about toddlers swallowing antiseptic hand gel, which is typically alcohol-based. 

“Toddlers often pluck bottles of the gel out of handbags or off benches and they can become ill if they ingest the contents.”

RACQ member Rachel Davie said she knew all too well the dangers of household items, with her four-year-old daughter Charlotte trying to eat everything from toilet discs to bath bombs. 

“Charlotte has always been my wild child,” Mrs Davie said. 

“Anything Charlotte knows she’s not meant to touch is even more tempting. 

“She has eaten everything from shower gel, bath bombs, an entire container of vita gummies, dog food and birth control pills out of my sister’s handbag.

“I have had to call Poisons Information Centre multiple times.

“I can remember the lady laughed once as I was the third person to call that day with a child who ate a toilet disc as they look like lollies.”

If you suspect your child has ingested one of these products, remain calm and contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

Poison Information Centre facts

  • 34,000 calls each year to Poisons Information Centre.

  • 95 calls each day to the Poisons Information Centre.

  • 50+% of all patients are children.