By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Poison Control officials say there’s been an uptick in calls about possible exposure to cleaning and disinfecting products.

The Minnesota Poison Control System says the state is mirroring the national trend of a 10% increase in calls about exposure to bleach.

Officials have been noticing an increase since social distancing measures went into place mid-March.

WCCO’s Kate Raddatz shares some steps you should take to keep your family safe.

The Minnesota Poison Control System reported 26 cases involving cleaning product exposure in the week of April 20. That’s up from 17 cases the same time last year.

And for disinfectants, like hand sanitizer, in that week there were 17 cases compared to eight last year.

“I’m less concerned about the local increase than the national increase and what that probably means when you extrapolate it to the real world of everyday life,” Minnesota Poison Control System Medical Director Dr. Jon Cole said.

Nationally, there have been more than 16,000 reports of bleach exposure in 2020. Of the more than 9,600 cases of hand sanitizer exposure cases, roughly two-thirds of them are babies to 5 years old.

“Household chemicals are just like medications, you should see them as a potential threat to any small children in the home, we want to keep up away and locked if possible,” Dr. Cole said.

Doctor Cole said in most cases there are mild symptoms.

He said there was also a nationwide spike in reported poison exposure calls in the days after President Trump made a comment last week about injecting disinfectants as a possible COVID-19 treatment.

Doctor Cole says it is not safe to use household cleaning products internally.

“Any person with a big social media presence and a large audience when they make statements about poisonings, politicians, celebrities, athletes we see calls related to that routinely,” Dr. Cole added.

If you have a question or an emergency regarding poison control, there are local agents working around the clock to help. Click here for more information.

Kate Raddatz