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By-the-numbers: Calls to Florida Poison Control increase as the coronavirus spreads

Will homemade hand sanitizer protect you?
Will homemade hand sanitizer protect you?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As people heed the warning to use hand sanitizer as a layer of protection against COVID-19, at the same time, Florida Poison Control tells News4Jax the number of calls for help have more than doubled.

But the increase in calls aren’t only about hand sanitizer exposure. Poison control centers statewide report more calls regarding household cleaners and disinfectants, too.

Take a look by-the-numbers comparing the first 17 days of this month to the same 17-day period last year:

From March 1, 2020 – March 17, 2020:

  • Hand sanitizer exposure calls: 90
  • Household cleaners & disinfectant exposure calls: 480

From March 1, 2019 – March 17, 2019:

  • Hand sanitizer exposure calls: 35
  • Household cleaners & disinfectant exposure calls: 417

Florida Poison Control tells us the calls this month about hand sanitizers, household cleaners and disinfectants mostly deal with ingestion of the products.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says unintentional poisonings kill about 30 children every year and recommends keeping cleaning and disinfecting products sealed with child-safety packaging and locked up away from a child’s reach.

To contact Florida Poison Control, call 1-800-222-1222.