The healthcare provider pointed to parents having to balance remote work with childcare as a potential reason for the increase.
Children are drowning and ingesting poison at higher rates than normal while they are stuck home due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Banner Health.
So far this year, three children under 4 years old have already died by drowning in Maricopa and Pinal Counties. Last year, a total of five children drowned.
The Arizona-based healthcare provider also reported a 50% increase in accidental exposures to cleaning products in the last month, with most of the cases involving children.
Banner pointed to children being home from school and daycare and parents having to work remotely while balancing childcare as possible reasons for more kids getting into dangerous situations.
“So many parents are juggling triple duties during this pandemic – being mom and dad, working at home and being teachers,” Tracey Fejt, trauma injury prevention coordinator at Cardon Children’s Medical Center, said in a press release. “Being pulled in so many directions can make it easy to lose safety focus beyond COVID-19.”
Fejt reminded parents that children need to be supervised around any body of water, including backyard pools, hot tubs, kiddie pools, bathtubs, and even buckets of water. Pools and hot tubs should have childproof barriers around them, so in case kids wander off, they can’t fall in.
If a child is missing, always check the pool first as time is “precious” when it comes to drownings, Fejt added. And if a child does fall into the water, Fejt said parents must perform CPR and call 911 right away.
As for poisonings, Maureen Roland, managing director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, said to “be alert about the location of all medications, chemicals, and cleaning products in the home.” Similar to pools, it’s important for parents to keep any eye on young children at all times and make sure they are not getting a hold of potentially dangerous substances.
Banner also noted that people should avoid taking any substances they believe will prevent or treat COVID-19, as there are currently no proven medications for the virus.
The health care provider treated a couple last month who ingested chloroquine phosphate, a fish tank cleaner, because they heard President Donald Trump praise hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment. The man died, but the woman recovered.
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