Children Ages One to Four are Disproportionally Affected by Chemical Burns in a Cross-sectional Analysis of NEISS 2012-2021


Far West


Riverside Community Hospital

Document Type


Publication Date



Bleach, Burns, Chemical burns, Cosmetics, Detergents, Household care products, Laundry soaps, Ocular burns, Pediatrics, Personal care products, Prevention, Safety


Surgery | Trauma


BACKGROUND: Household cleaning and personal care products (HC&PCPs) are irreplaceable in most daily routines. However, data are sparse on chemical burns caused by HC&PCPs.

METHODS: We queried the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) from 2012 to 2021 to characterize chemical burns caused by HC&PCPs as well as the most common causative categories of HC&PCPs responsible for chemical burns.

RESULTS: We found 2729 total emergency department (ED) visits due to chemical burn injuries within the years 2012-2021 due to HC&PCPs. Chemical burns disproportionally affect children ages four and under, accounting for 36.4% of all patients. Within this subpopulation, boys were more frequently affected by chemical burns and the eyes were the most affected area. The most common HC&PCPs involved in chemical burns in individuals ages one to four were laundry soaps and detergents (22.0%) and bleaches (21.3%).

CONCLUSION: Children ages four and under are disproportionately affected by chemical burns due to non-intentional exposure of HC&PCPs, with laundry detergents and bleaches being the most common causative agents. Adequate storage of all HC&PCPs and improved parental supervision are paramount in preventing chemical burns in this age group.

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