Liquid nicotine – worst fears are now a reality -Liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes has claimed its first known American death. And again, one of those normal genetic predispositions, curiosity, makes your TSK (That Special Kid) more likely to be poisoned!
We have talked about how important curiosity is for TSK to learn things. And you know from first-hand experience that TSK is rapidly trying to learn, because he doesn’t know nearly as much as you do! He’s trying to make up the difference so he can be “just like you”! But some things are very dangerous for TSK and can even kill him!
Liquid nicotine is one of those killers!
This information comes from the AAP News Parent Plus information, and I paraphrase:
Parents who “vape” should be aware that one swallow of the liquid nicotine used to refill their e-cigarettes can kill a child. The liquid also can be poisonous in a matter of minutes if spilled on the skin. A 1-year-old child died from liquid nicotine poisoning in December; the first such death in the U.S. The number of calls to poison control centers about liquid nicotine doubled in 2014 to over 3,000 calls about exposures, from 1500 calls in 2013.
Children ages 1-2 years are at the greatest risk of getting into the product, but parents of children under age 5 should be especially cautious. Only a handful of states require childproof packaging for liquid nicotine refills, so many bottles do not have childproof caps. Recommendations include using childproof packaging, storing all liquid nicotine refills out of children’s reach and making sure to keep children away from discarded bottles.
There are three routes of exposure that are toxic to children.
- If they put it in their mouth even without swallowing, it will absorb from the mucous membranes, just like nicotine gum.
- If they swallow the nicotine liquid, it will be absorbed in the intestinal tract.
- If they spill it on the skin, it is absorbed through the skin, just like a nicotine patch.
The bottles are sold in various sizes, from about 2 teaspoons to 6 teaspoons, and come in a variety of strengths and flavors. Only 1 teaspoon may be enough to kill a 1 year old child. Symptoms include vomiting, a fast heartbeat, jittery and unsteady appearance and difficulty breathing. If you suspect your child has exposure to liquid nicotine on the skin or swallowed, immediately call the Poison Center hotline at 800-222-1222.
Be extra vigilant when you visit someone else’s house (who is a vape smoker, or who may have had a party with users) with TSK, as they may have it “available” on a coffee table, or it may have fallen under a chair.
If you are a nicotine user, consider stopping especially for TSK’s sake! There are a lot of great resources; your doctor can help! Consider that TSK is watching every time you use, and will be copying you at the first opportunity – it’s a genetic thing! Give that kid a hug.