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Eye drop, nasal decongestant spray dangers

Posted at 10:29 AM, Oct 30, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning the public about kids coming in contact with some key ingredients in eye drops and nose sprays. Since the key ingredients in both products work to compress blood vessels, it could pose a severe threat to small children. 

The FDA said children under 5 are at risk for severe health complications from accidentally ingesting eye drops or nasal sprays. The over-the-counter medications contain ingredients tetrahydrozoline, oxymetazoline, or naphazoline, which can be in many generic and brand name products.

The FDA claims there have not been any deaths among kids; however, serious events requiring hospitalization have occurred with a dose tinier than a teaspoon.

"When the medication is put in your eye, it makes the eyes less red because it makes the blood vessels become smaller but when you drink the medication it can affect your heart rate, your breathing, sometimes your consciousness, your behavior," said Dr. Kimberly Yen, Texas Children's Hospital pediatric ophthalmologist. "The smaller the patient, so children have a much smaller mass, much smaller weight, then when they drink the drop they're getting a much higher amount and their body."

If a child accidentally swallows the eye drops or nasal decongestant spray, call the toll-free poison help line at  1-800-222-1222 and seek emergency medical care immediately.

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