Doctor gives tips to safely administer at-home Covid tests

This Oak Park father says his 15- and 6-year-old daughters both contracted Covid last year.

"They were sick for about a day, and then they recovered," said Charles Reid.

That’s why he believes access to at-home Covid test kits is crucial for many families, but he says he would never allow his kids to use a test kit unsupervised.

"Just making sure they don’t get hurt while using it - if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could hurt yourself," Reid said.

Medical professionals say anyone using an at-home test kit should always practice caution and pay close attention to the small liquid bottle inside the kit.

That liquid is used to create the chemical reaction necessary to produce a positive or negative result.

"There are some preservatives in the test kit, for example, sodium azide is one of them," said Dr. Asha Shajahan, Beaumont Grosse Pointe. "If ingested or put it in the eye somewhere it can be detrimental it’s a chemical that could be harmful."

The amount of the preservative contained in the test kit is small, but doctors say that didn’t mean you should not handle the contents of the kit safely.

"You should keep it on a clean counter, so there aren't things that could spill over and cause issues with the test," she said.

If the liquid gets onto your skin or into an eye make sure you clean the area immediately

"Wash your hands with soap and water and for any reason, if it gets into the eye, you should wash your eye out with water for at least 15 minutes or so," Shajahan said.

If irritation persists: "If you have continued burning in the skin or eye call poison control."

Once you finish using the test kit be mindful of where you place the contents.

"If you are going to do your test kit and you have the remnants of the vile you want to make sure you don’t throw it down the sink, and you dispose of it in your trash as soon as you are finished," she said.

Reid says he’s glad to have at home Covid test kits and hopes people use them properly and safely

"The home tests are a lot more convenient than waiting in those lines around a lot of people," he said.