LOS ANGELES, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Household spray cleaners pose a serious danger to children in the U.S., injuring roughly 12,000 children under the age of six annually, according to figures released on Monday.
Bleach was the cleaning product most commonly associated with injury (37.1 percent), and the most common type of storage container involved was a spray bottle (40.1 percent), the Nationwide Children's Hospital's Center for Injury Research and Policy said in a report.
"So many household products are sold in spray bottles these days, because for cleaning purposes they're really easy to use," said study author Lara B. McKenzie, a researcher at the center. " But spray bottles don't generally come with child-resistant closures, so it's really easy for a child to just squeeze the trigger."
McKenzie added that young kids are often attracted to a cleaning product's pretty label and colorful liquid, and may mistake it for juice or vitamin water. "If you look at a lot of household cleaners in bottles these days, it's actually pretty easy to mistake them for sports drinks if you can't read the labels," McKenzie said.
The figures also showed that the number of injuries to young children caused by exposure to household cleaning products have decreased almost by half since 1990.
Although rates of injuries from bottles with caps and other types of containers decreased during the study period, spray bottle injury rates remained constant, the center noted.
The researchers examined national data on roughly 267,000 children aged five and under who were treated in emergency rooms after injuries with household cleaning products between 1990 and 2006. During this time period, 72 percent of the injuries occurred in children between the ages of one and three years.