The growing popularity of e-cigarettes is leading to a spike in calls about kids being poisoned from the liquid nicotine used to fill them.
“They look like candy,” said Jupiter Pediatrician Sara Connolly.
Dr. Connolly is referring to the containers that are filled with liquid nicotine that are used to fill up e-cigarettes. They come in a lot of flavors and colors including bubble gum and gummy bear, according to Connolly.
“It’s very easy to think that a child, particularly the under 5 group, might get their hands on this and pop one of these in their mouth really quick,” Connolly said.
Liquid nicotine can be dangerous if ingested, or even if it comes in contact with skin.
Symptoms of poisoning include abdominal cramping, agitation, rapid breathing, confusion, even comar and death.
Connolly says as little as a tablespoon of a 10 percent liquid nicotine can be deadly.
There are no regulations restricting how e-cigarettes are packaged or marketed. That means there are no requirements about child proof containers.
Connolly recommends parents are careful about where they keep and store the liquid.
“Parents have to learn to get into the habit of treating this like a medicine by locking it up, putting it away,” Connolly said.
Meantime, Florida’s legislature is considering making it illegal for anyone under 18 to buy e-cigarettes.
We’d join some 28 other states that already have an age limit in place.