One-year-old Elijah Mole from the United Kingdom suffered severe burns on his face and also acute kidney failure after he accidentally pressed a bottle of a chemical used to clean ovens.
The accident happened on Sept. 16 when his father turned his back for a moment while cleaning the oven and left the bottle on the floor.
After hearing his son scream and choke, Jimmy Mole of Great Barr, Birmingham immediately called paramedics. His son was rushed to Birmingham Children's Hospital where doctors tried to surgically reopen the child's airways. They also monitored him after he suffered acute kidney failure.
Despite burns sustained on his face, the baby did not swallow the chemical. Ingestion of poisonous chemicals used to clean equipment and furniture at home poses various health hazards.
"I only turned my back for a second," Jimmy recalled the moment he deemed to be "the worst day" of his life. He said he felt traumatized and helpless as he saw his son in severe pain.
"There will always be a feeling of guilt. It was my fault," he added.
Jimmy and Deanne, the baby's mother, have posted heartbreaking photos of their son to raise awareness of the dangers of cleaning products in homes.
"I want to say to parents to be extra careful, that you can lose your concentration when you've had a long day. It was just a silly accident and I just don't want it to happen to anyone else," Jimmy said.
After Elijah was diagnosed with acute kidney failure, he was placed in intensive care where he underwent dialysis and treatment for his burns. He celebrated his first birthday with his family at his bedside.
According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, more than 267,000 children aged five years old and below were treated in emergency departments in the United States for household cleaning product-related injuries from 1990 to 2006.
Cleaning products found in homes are responsible for many unintentional poisonings in babies and children. Thus, it is included in the top five causes of pediatric poisoning. Although the researchers found a decrease in the rates of poisoning over the years, efforts to prevent these accidents are still highly needed.
Photo: Aimee Rivers | Flickr