Eye Chemical burns in children by detergents


In recent years, severe ocular chemical burns in children have increased considerably. This increase in this type of injuries is probably due to the fact that the tablets of some dishwasher products come with striking colours and in soft-touch formats, which can be confused with sweets, especially in the eyes of a pre-schooler. Nothing is further from reality, as these detergents usually contain alkali-type substances, which, in contact with the eye and its mucous membranes, can cause serious problems, affecting long-term vision.

The most frequent way that these accidents occur is either because the child squeezes the capsule to the point that it bursts expelling the content on the face of the child, or because he rubs his eyes after handling one of these capsules. Whatever the reason may be, the effects of these exposures can be extremely serious. To avoid ocular damage, a profuse wash should be performed immediately, either with running water or with physiological saline solution, for 20 minutes and quickly go to the emergency room to evaluate the case by a specialist. Occasionally, lesions from exposure can affect the skin of the face or other parts of the body, which should also be washed immediately. In case of ingestion of the product, the child should be taken immediately to the emergency room, since the inflammation produced by the chemical product can cause serious breathing problems. It is always advisable, as far as possible, to take the information of the product in question and deliver it to the emergency doctor.

Although the presentation format of detergents should probably be rethought to make them less attractive to children, adequate storage of these household cleaning products is recommended to avoid accidents. Thus, any cleaning product should be stored in a closed and high place, far from the reach of any child, since even the so-called "anti-child opening systems" can fail. Finally, in case of accident or exposure to detergent, especially if it affects the eyes, it is necessary to follow the instructions on the container, wash the eyes with plenty of water (unless otherwise indicated on the packaging) and go to a medical service immediately for the evaluation of the damage.

Dr. Borja Salvador-Culla