Poison Control Center Warns About Children, E-Cigarettes

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ILLINOIS-----It is a statistic that is a dangerous one for children. The Illinois Poison Center says more children are being exposed to e-cigarettes, especially children younger than six years old.

The center received 131 calls related to e-cigarettes in 2015; of those calls, 87 were for children under age 6. The center has already received 25 of these calls, including 16 for children under age 6, in the first quarter of 2016. The director of the Illinois Poison Center, Carol DesLauriers, says what is most alarming is how the center is getting calls about toddlers and other small children takings puffs from e-cigarettes. DesLauriers says that is a learned behavior from watching their parents.

Another concern: the e-cigarettes may be appealing to children because they have fruity or other pleasant flavorings and smells.

A new study recently published online in the journal Pediatrics found that from January 2012 through April 2015, poison control centers in the U.S. received more than 29,000 calls related to e-cigarette, nicotine, and tobacco product exposures among children younger than 6 years old. E-cigarettes accounted for 14 percent of the exposures, a nearly 1,500 percent increase in such exposures over the period. For more information about the study, click HERE.

The Illinois Poison Center urges parents to take steps to keep children safe and minimize the risk of exposure to e-cigarettes:

  • Store and secure e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine refill products in locations not accessible to children (e.g., locked places, such as cabinets or boxes);
  • Do not use e-cigarettes around children, who often mimic and imitate adults; and
  • Parents with young children are encouraged not to use or store e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine products in the home.
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