If COVID tests are not stored properly, they can cause injury, according to the FDA

Home Covid Tests Can Cause Harm If Not Stored Safely: Fda

At-home COVID-19 tests are an important tool in the fight against the coronavirus. However, the US Food and Drug Administration advises taking a few measures to avoid major damage.

The tests can be harmful if they are not used according to the manufacturer’s directions, and they must be kept out of reach of children and pets, according to the FDA.

It stated that it has received reports of injuries caused by the wrong use of COVID-19 tests performed at home due to:

  • People accidentally putting liquid test solution in their eyes when small vials of test solution were mistaken for eye drops.
  • Placing nasal collection swabs into the liquid solution prior to swabbing the nose (the liquid solution is not supposed to touch your body).
  • Children putting test parts in their mouth and swallowing liquid test solution.

When the tests are used and saved properly, self-testing is safe. According to the CDC, they provide a convenient and important tool for people to determine whether they or family members are afflicted with the coronavirus.

The liquid solutions in the test, on the other hand, could contain irritating or poisonous compounds like sodium azide. If these chemicals come into contact with your skin, nose, mouth, or eyes, or if test parts, such as small vials carrying liquid solutions, are swallowed, they can cause injury, according to the FDA.

You may have received COVID test kits from the federal government or purchased them from a merchant, like many other Americans. If this is the case, the FDA recommends the following precautions:

  • Keep all parts of at-home test kits out of reach from children and pets before and after use. Also, store the test in its box until you are ready to use it.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s step-by-step test instructions exactly. Read the “Warning, Precautions, and Safety Information” in the test instructions for a description of chemical ingredients and recommendations for safe handling. This will also outline what to do if they accidentally touch your skin or eyes.
  • Keep the liquid solution away from the skin, nose, mouth and eyes. Do not swallow the liquid solution.
  • Use only the swab in the test kit to collect a nasal sample.
  • After you perform the test, follow instructions on how to throw away the used test parts. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

In addition, if skin or eye irritation persists after exposure, or if a person or animal eats the liquid solution, contact your local poison control center or a health care practitioner straight away.

Contact the FDA’s Division of Industry and Consumer Education at 800-638-2041 or 301-796-7100 if you have any queries. You can also reach out to the COVID-19 test’s customer care department.

If you believe there was an issue with your COVID-19 test, you can use the FDA’s MedWatch Voluntary Reporting Form to report it.