A 1-year-old child from Fort Plain, New York, could be the first child that gets killed by liquid nicotine ingestion in the US. Police said that the child was found Tuesday unresponsive at his parents’ house and rushed to a nearby hospital where unfortunately doctors found he was dead.
Health officials are now concerned that other cases may occur since e-cigarettes, devices that turn liquid nicotine into vapors inhaled by smokers, are increasingly popular but do not come in child-resistant packages.
A police spokesperson said the child’s death was “a tragic accident”, but he declined to link the poisoning with an e-cig device.
Health representatives say that the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and “vaping” in the past years has led to an increase in purchasing e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine associated to it. Since this substance now comes in tempting flavors for children such as strawberry or cotton candy, authorities believe that tragic accidents like the on in Fort Plain could happen again.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) said that one single teaspoon of liquid nicotine could kill a small child, while smaller quantities may require emergency treatment and cause serious ailments.
“Despite the dangers these products pose to children, there are currently no standards set in place that require child-proof packaging,”
AAPCC officials have also said.
Last month, the AAPCC reported that the risk of dangerous “exposure” to liquid nicotine among small children has more than doubled in just one year. In late November, more than 3,500 cases of nicotine exposure were recorded in the US, while in 2013 1,543 cases were reported. Exposure to liquid nicotine involves ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption of this substance.
In the US, there was only one liquid nicotine related death before last Tuesday – an adult male who has injected himself with nicotine two years ago. But the Fort Plain toddler was the first US child to die of liquid nicotine poisoning.
Dr Donna Seger, chief of a poison control center in Nashville, Tennessee, said that the liquid nicotine poisoning cases recorded at her center have multiplied. Dr Seger says that one possible cause could be the easy access small children have to vials containing liquid nicotine. She also said that a small quantity of this substance could lead to dangerous symptoms in infants such as seizures.
Phil Daman, Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association’s representative, said he was “saddened to hear the terrible news.” Mr Daman suspects that the Fort Plain toddler might have been killed by liquid nicotine in a higher concentration than the usual doses provided by the e-cigarette industry. He also said that there was a wide-range of liquid nicotine on the market with different concentrations, including lethal doses for small children, since there is no federal regulation to it.
Image Source: The Columbian