Posion centers say e-Cigarettes dangers to kids, pets

Posion centers say e-Cigarettes dangers to kids, pets

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The calls come in around the clock at the Georgia Poison Center, about someone who's gotten into something they shouldn't have. And Dr. Gaylord Lopez says, “Kids get into everything!”

Something new that kids are getting into is electronic cigarettes. They’re convenient, popular, and to Lopez, troubling.

Because the cartridges or tanks contain highly-concentrated liquid nicotine, a toxin.

Lopez says, “The thing here is you're dealing with extremely poisonous material in just a small amount. So those are rare poisonings, but what we worry about is that small amounts can even lead to death."

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MMWR report shows that in February alone,

U.S. poison centers received 215 calls about liquid nicotine-related poisonings, just over half children age 5 or younger.

Lopez explains, "Often it's kids getting ahold of the cartridge, and trying to lick some of the liquid off the cartridge. Or they're getting into the liquid little eyedropper bottles that contain the liquid nicotine, and that's more of the problem."

In the last three months, the Georgia Poison Center has already had 23 calls about liquid nicotine, more than they received in all of 2013. Lopez says they've had no deaths, but some very sick children. He says, “The problem with nicotine is it affects your stomach, your nervous system. We've had kids who've been vomiting for hours, and a kid can't sustain dehydration very well.

So if you're using electronic cigarettes around kids - or pets – put them up out of reach. Lopez says if you don’t, “This is like putting pesticide on your desktop, this is like putting Draino-type drainers on your countertop. Get these things up and out of the reach of and out of the sight of these children. That, as a first step, will go a long way.”

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