E- Cigarette Child Poisoning Dangers
Electronic cigarettes are gaining popularity because they are marketed as a safer alternative to smoking. An increasing amount of children have been checking into the Texas Poison Center for electronic-cigarette poisoning .According to the poison center, 52 percent of the calls for e-cigarette exposure involved children under the age of five, from 2009 to 2013.E-cigarettes are battery-powered, and the liquid mixture inside the device contains nicotine.
But the Amarillo Poison Control Center says there are other dangers surrounding the device that parents should be aware of. Registered Nurse Cristie Johnston says a recent spike in phone calls, about e-cigarette poisonings, are causing concern. “In 2011, we had maybe 10 cases. But, last year we had over 100 cases reported, and those are just the ones we get calls about,” she said. The highly concentrated solution that goes into the electronic device is to blame. In many cases, children are drinking the liquid which can be very harmful.
The Poison Control Center says even just a small amount can lead to vomiting, sweating and seizures, which in some cases can lead to death. “It used to be that we were worried about cigarettes,” Johnston said. “One cigarette used to send a kid to a hospital and now it’s just a little bit of that concentrated liquid.”
With colorful casings and a variety of flavors, Johnston says the devices can be appealing to children, especially toddlers, who often put things in their mouths. “If they can walk, if they can crawl and they can pull up, they can get Of course, if you think your child has gotten a hold of your e-cigarette, contact Poison Control or call 9-1-1.into stuff,” she said. The best thing to do to protect your children, is lock up your e-cigarette when you are not using it.
BIG LURE FOR KIDS-CHOCOLATE, BUBBLE GUM AND COTTON CANDY FLAVORS
Children are especially drawn to the colorful liquid refills, which are often candy-flavored. You can buy e-cigarettes that taste like chocolate, bubble gum and cotton candy, in addition to other tobacco flavors. It seems pretty easy for [children] to have, maybe, a couple of drops of the liquid refill and for them to die. Children don’t even have to swallow the liquid to be hurt by it. The nicotine in it can be easily absorbed through the skin. Little kids can get toxic just by getting some on their skin.
CHILD SAFETY CAPS
Today, there are a few hundred different brands of e-cigarettes on the market. The FDA does not regulate what’s in them. It’s not regulated what exactly is in there, and the ones that have been tested show some dangerous chemicals including anti-freeze. There now is large calling to install child safety caps for the refill bottles. E Cigarette users should to make sure refills and e-cigarettes are stored out of the reach of children at all times. It seems inevitable that a child somewhere in the United States will probably ingest quite a bit and get very sick.
Symptoms of severe nicotine exposure include a pale appearance, flushing, sweating, headache, dizziness, hyperactivity or restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, salivation and teary eyes. In very severe cases, the heart rate and blood pressure begin to drop to dangerously low levels and the patient can lapse into a coma, followed by difficulty breathing and even death.
When on the skin, nicotine in liquid form is easily absorbed. Even small amounts can cause irritation and a burning sensation.
Whether the child drank it or had skin contact, it is vital to immediately call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.If the liquid was swallowed, DO NOT induce vomiting. However, if there is skin contact, it is important to quickly wash the area thoroughly with mild soap and lots of water. And, to protect children from exposure in the first place, parents are urged to keep e-cigarettes and the solutions used to refill them far out of reach of children.
Information from Colleen Nelson Amarillo News channel 10 and Texas Panhandle Poison Control Center.
Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau