Investigators in Anderson County say that the overuse of insect foggers may have caused the death of a 10 month old boy who died Sunday of cardiac arrest after experiencing trouble breathing. The baby’s mother and two year old brother are currently hospitalized after experiencing respiratory distress. Authorities discovered that the mother overused insect foggers in the family’s small rental trailer. Managing Director of the Palmetto Poison Center Jill Michels says far too often people do not carefully read the label directions on the pesticides they use in their homes.
“That is the safest and easy way people can use these products. I often have to counsel people on making sure the product that want to use in the home is specifically for home use and not outside use. Many people use these products and don’t read the directions.”
Michels says normally persons should vacate their homes for a period of time once a fogger is released in their dwelling places. “The fogger labels do tell you how to release the product based on the size of the area that is to be covered. It also gives directions on leaving the area and when you can come back, and if you need to do anything like open a window or door after you come back from the set amount of hours after you release the fogger.”
Michels says persons should be extra careful in using pesticides in homes around small children and persons who may have chronic respiratory problems. Michels says quite often people lay out pesticides in plain site in homes where toddlers are moving about. “We often get calls about boric acid because people tend to put that in the corners of their house in the rooms or along the baseboards. We always get calls about toddlers and young children who are crawling and getting their hands in the boric acid and putting their hand sin their mouths. I would ask that anything you need to physically put out into a room that is accessible to touch and taste not to use when you have young children in the home.”
Michels says in any emergency situation involving children and pesticides, limiting exposure is of great importance. “If the child’s got it on the skin, put them in the bathtub to wash their skin. Change their clothes. What we want to do is limit exposure. So if it takes washing the skin, changing the clothes, getting fresh air, that is what you want to do first. The Poison Center they call always call. We’re 24-7, but definitely if breathing problems are involved they need to call 9-1-1.”
The Palmetto Poison Center number is 1-800-222-1222.