E-cigarette warning issued after toddler swallows liquid

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  • Doctors have issued a warning to parents who use e-cigarettes after a young girl swallowed the liquid used inside the device.

    15-month-old Eva, from Perth in Scotland, was hospitalised after ingesting the toxic substance, which generally contains propylene glycol, glycerin, water, nicotine, and flavorings such as fruit and chocolate.

    Luckily, no lasting damage was done, but Eva’s is not an isolated case – and now experts are calling for parents to be more aware of the dangers of e-liquid.

    Paediatrician Donald MacGregor, who administered the toddler’s treatment, said: ‘It was very concerning. It can be dangerous for a small child.’

    ‘A colleague saw an older child who had done something similar. The child became quite wound up and anxious, saying to their mum that they didn’t feel right. Their heart rate was extremely high.’

    Dr MacGregor’s advice to parents is to avoid using their e-cigarette in front of children, and to keep it safely out of reach when not in use.

    ‘It’s a natural thing for children to imitate what they see – that’s one of the things that needs to be flagged up,’ he explained. ‘I think it’s an issue which people haven’t thought about, and maybe a public awareness campaign would be useful in that respect.’

    Even in adults, just 2ml of the refill fluid can cause palpitations, dizziness, vomiting and high blood pressure, and the effect can be even more severe for children. Although there have been no fatalities in the UK, children in other countries have died from consuming the liquid.

    Pam Prentice, who works for the Child Accident Prevention Trust commented on the case: ‘It is an emerging issue and a definite concern. Parents are shocked when they discover how dangerous they are – there absolutely need to be more awareness.’

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