On June 21, 2019, Global Cosmetics News reported shocking news. The industry publication said that thousands of children suffer serious injuries every year in the United States because of makeup and other cosmetic products. The industry publication cited a study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, which concluded that at least 64,000 children had required emergency medical attention because of cosmetic products from 2002 until 2016. The astonishing fact generated by the study relates to the age of the injured children. The researchers focused solely on children ages five and younger in their study.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission operates a national database called the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. The system records information about injuries caused by products as reported in hospital emergency departments across the country. The database records the type of product that inflicted an injury, the so-called “route of exposure” of the injury, and location of injury caused by a consumer product in children aged five and younger.
Understanding the definition of a cosmetic product is essential to the significance of the study. The study defined a cosmetic product as one that beautifies, cleanses, promotes attractiveness, or alters appearance. Items like nail polish, hair relaxers, moisturizing cream, deodorants, and antiperspirants fall into the broad category of a cosmetic product.
Cosmetic products are safe when used per the manufacturers’ recommendations. However, younger children tend not to use cosmetic products as intended. It is not surprising, therefore, that nearly 75 percent of the injuries suffered by children were the result of ingesting a cosmetic product. The remaining injuries occurred after contact with the skin or eyes. The study attributed 28 percent of child injuries to nail polish, hair care, skin care, and perfume rounded out the top four cosmetic products most dangerous to children. Infants and toddlers are the most vulnerable. Seven children two or younger died between 1999 and 2015 after makeup poisoned them.
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