Last week, a 3-year-old boy died in South Texas after drinking aluminum cleaning product at a professional car wash business. According to the Associated Press, the chemical solution was kept in a water bottle and sitting on the ground at the self-clean car wash.
News of the death appeared Sunday via AP, which reported in part:
Laredo police say Moises Martinez died late Wednesday. Police tell the Laredo Morning Times that the child drank an aluminum cleaner that was in a water bottle.
The death is a tragic reminder that storing cleaning product in unmarked containers — or worse, the containers of consumable products like water — is unacceptably dangerous. It was not clear from the AP brief whether the Laredo police were pressing charges against the father or the car wash business in the death or whether the family would file a civil case agains the car wash.
While accidents are inevitable, risks can be mitigated by creating a culture of safety and vigilance at your car wash. This incident illustrates the stakes of even minor oversights. According to AP, doctors say there is no room for error when it comes to cleaning products:
Dr. Hector Gonzalez of the City of Laredo Health Department tells KGNS television station in Laredo that even a small amount of chemicals can cause a lot of damage internally to a child. He adds, “No amount is safe.”