Most people have dangerous cleaners, bleaches and poisons locked up and away from children in their home, but that may not be the case with personal care products—and those products are responsible for hundreds of emergency room visits a year.

According to the Ontario Poison Centre personal care products such as mouthwash, toothpaste, sunscreen, perfumes and nail polish and nail polish remover rank 5th on the list when it comes to the most common calls they get for poisonings.

Ontario’s Poison Centre says the other four most common poisoning calls they receive are – in order – for pain relievers, sleeping medicines, household cleaners and antidepressant medicines. 

Personal care products may not seem dangerous, but according to Consumer Reports, fragrances, moisturizers and deodorants are ingested by young children and are responsible for hundreds of visits to emergency rooms each year in North America. 


“Most of these injuries were due to kids swallowing personal care products, which led to poisoning. The second most common scenario is these products coming in contact with kids’ skin or eyes leading to a chemical burn,” Lauren Friedman with Consumer Reports said. 

What’s the best way to keep curious hands away from these items? 

Personal care products should be stored securely out of reach and out of sight. Keep products in their original container, so if your child does get into something, you'll know the exact ingredients to tell the poison control centre or your doctor

You should also know who to call if your child does ingest something dangerous. The Ontario Poison Hotline is 1-800-268-9017 and experts are on hand 24 hours a day in case of an emergency. 

During 2012 and 2013 poison, control centres were swamped with calls involving children ingesting laundry detergent pods. That’s when companies agreed to stop making clear plastic containers and changed their lids on containers to make them harder to open. 

The legalization of marijuana has also created new challenges. Anyone with edible cannabis products in their household is advised to keep them locked up and away from children.