x
Breaking News
More () »

Accidental exposure to testing solutions inside COVID-19 at-home kits on the rise

Doctors with the American Association of Poison Control Centers said they had seen increases in calls after children accidentally get ahold of the test kits.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt University Medical Center doctors warn parents should keep COVID-19 at-home test kits out of reach from children.

There are different at-home kits, but most have a container filled with a reagent solution that's used on the swab after the sample is taken. That solution is not supposed to be ingested because it has hazardous ingredients, but kids and some adults are accidentally doing so. 

Doctors with the American Association of Poison Control Centers said they had seen increases in calls after children accidentally get ahold of the test kits. While the ingredients vary from product to product, they could be hazardous to anyone.

AAPCC doctors said that while there’s an uptick in children exposed to the chemicals, they have seen the same numbers in adults. In addition, they said that the children could be confused because the containers look like eye drops.

The AAPCC said they also get calls from people who put the solution on the swab in the test kit and put that in their nose. This information all stems from data the AAPCC started tracking last month.

“This is a recent thing that we have been tracking,” Dr. Kaitlyn Brown with AAPCC said. “We don’t have a lot of history data on that. Really, it’s been kind of just since December we’ve seen an increase to daily cases being reported to poison control centers.”

“There’s so many different kits,” Dr. Joseph Gigante, a pediatrician at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, said. “Each kit has its own solution and test media. So, with that, some of those probably wouldn’t cause much harm or damage if a child were to accidentally drink them. Some of them might.”

Doctors recommend that parents keep the kits away and out of reach from children to prevent this from happening.

If anyone ingests or exposes themselves to the solution, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.