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5 children burned after soap mix-up at Palm Desert YMCA

Five children, ages 3 to 5 years old, were brought to the hospital after their they inadvertently washed their hands with a harsh cleaning compound instead of soap at the Palm Desert YMCA.

According to officials on scene, a hazardous materials team was called when the children complained that their hands were starting to burn.

It happened at 12:32 p.m. at Family YMCA of the Desert, 75433 Orange Blossom Lane.

The Palm Desert Emergency Services Coordinator, Eric Cadden, tells KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 that a janitor had accidentally put the cleaning chemicals in the hand soap dispensers, leading to the problem.

Crews from the fire department and Riverside County Environmental Health subsequently determined that the hazardous substance was Ecotemp Ultra Klene, “a janitorial-strength cleaner made of sodium hydroxide,” said April Newman of the Riverside County Fire Department.

YMCA staff says that the dispensers have been removed. Investigators believe the mix-up was an accident and there was no criminal intent.

The children have been taken to a hospital to be checked out.

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