Keeping safe from hydrocarbons in your home - KMSP-TV

Keeping safe from hydrocarbons in your home

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You're probably not familiar with the term ‘hydrocarbon,' but chances are you have them in your home. Reports show that ingesting hydrocarbons is one of the top 10 causes of poisoning deaths in children.

One Georgia family is now painfully aware of hydrocarbons in their life. The Newmans are your typical family. Tammy Newman says when her young son, Travis, was even a bit younger, he was a typical boy.

"Travis was always trying to get into the cabinets, picking up stuff, climbing," said Tammy, a mother of two children.

Accidental poisoning is every parent's fear, but there are products around the home that few people likely know are dangerous – hydrocarbons.

Dr. Gaylord Lopez, of the Georgia Poison Center, said, "Hydrocarbons are just a fancy word for oils, products that are oil-based. And, they're scattered throughout our house, and maybe in our garages to maybe a few of them outdoors."

The Newmans found that they have hydrocarbons all around their home. Outside, they're in the gas that Kyle uses for his trimmer. Inside, they're in cleaning products like furniture polish.

Tammy said, "I think about the more harsh chemicals like what I clean my shower with or maybe even what we wash the car with; but not the furniture polish."

From 2000-2009, there were an estimated 100,000 reported injuries to children due to hydrocarbons. Dr. Lopez says if ingested, hydrocarbons can be fatal.

Dr. Lopez said, "It is gets trapped in the lungs, fluid can build up in the lungs, bacteria grows on fluid, then you have a pneumonia and that can be life-threatening."

The good doctor says summer is an ideal time to go through your cabinets to identify potential threats. Then, put some of them out of reach or do like the Newmans did and simply lock them up.

"There are so many things that don't have child-resistant enclosures. This is where we run into problems."

If your child comes into contact with products like lighter fluid or gas cans, then call the Georgia Poison Center right away.

More Info:
Georgia Poison Center
24-HOUR POISON HOTLINE: 1-800-222-1222

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