Common Poisoning Hazards: Liquid Nicotine, Laundry Packets, and More
a guest post by Carson Gaffney, a Program Associate at Kids In Danger (KID), a nonprofit dedicated to keeping children safe by improving children’s product safety.
March is Illinois Poison Prevention Month, and March 19–25 is National Poison Prevention Week. Staying up to date on common poisoning hazards can keep children safe and prevent trips to the doctor or hospital.
- Liquid Nicotine
E-cigarettes and liquid nicotine refills pose a unique danger to children. Liquid nicotine is packaged in colorful, bright plastic and comes in fruity, sweet flavors (such as cotton candy or bubble gum). This makes it very likely children will be drawn to these products or mistake them for candy. If ingested, liquid nicotine can cause serious damage quickly. Recently, a coalition of consumer groups worked to pass the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act (S. 142) in Congress. This law requires child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine. Store the product in a safe place, locked or out of reach and sight of children.
- Laundry Packets
Laundry packets or pods can be dangerous for children. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), in just the first two months of 2017, local poison centers received reports of 1,558 exposures to laundry packets by children under 5 years old. These packets contain highly concentrated detergent, and if any is swallowed or inhaled, children can experience severe vomiting or breathing problems. Recent data has also shown an increase in eye burns among children due to this product. To avoid exposure keep the containers sealed tight and in a high location that children cannot reach. Check out KID’s blog for more information.
Other common household items, such as hand sanitizer, can also pose a poisoning risk. Hand sanitizer often consists of between 40% to 95% alcohol. If a child ingests even a small amount of it, they can be at risk for alcohol poisoning, according to the AAPCC. Keep out of reach of children.
For more poison prevention resources, check the Illinois Poison Center’s page on Poison Prevention Month and read more on poison prevention tactics. Also, you can follow the AAPCC as they acknowledge National Poison Prevention Week for reports and updates on poison cases in the U.S.