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Upstate NY Poison Center says store at-home COVID tests away from kids

A QuickVue at-home COVID-19 antigen testing kit.
Madison Ruffo
WRVO Public Media

The Upstate New York Poison Center has some advice for families getting at-home COVID-19 test kits: store them safely and keep them away from kids.

The Center is getting calls concerned that a child has ingested some of the liquid in the tiny bottles that are used to determine a positive or negative COVID test.

“We’ve had about a dozen calls where a child has gotten a sip of it or a taste of it, and it’s a panicked parent, said Poison Center Director Michelle Caliva, who says it’s not a big problem.

"If they were to take a taste of it accidentally, not a problem, could be a little bit irritating, but not a real big issue,” Caliva said. “However, it could be a choking issue because it’s a little plastic container. Not a good idea to eat any product or chemical not intended for eating or consumption. So we’re just saying be careful."

That means don’t leave kits on the kitchen counter or anywhere a curious child could find them, and make sure any that are coming home from schools in backpacks, are immediately put in a safe place. Also, kits should be thrown away right after use. Caliva said if kids do get into the kits, don’t hesitate to call.

“Because we like to reassure you, confirm what the product is, and do a real quick calculation to determine amount, size and age,” she said. But again, for the most part, a taste might be irritating, and that’s it."

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.