We all know not to leave matches (used in the OLD days!), lighters and ashtrays within the reach of children – but what about electronic cigarettes (e-cigs)? It may seem common sense to make sure an e-cig is out of a child’s reach but do we leave it lying around on a shelf, in our bag or on a table as it doesn’t seem ‘that unsafe’ as it isn’t burning?
Other than knowing e-cigs aren’t for kids, I hadn’t really thought about the safety aspect until Stephen and I discussed a leaflet that he received in Brussels earlier this month. The leaflet was produced by Belgian Poison Centre and I quote from their leaflet (see snapshot below under ‘Flash prevention’) “The electronic cigarette is a relatively new product on the market. The main risks appear acute poisoning with refill liquids. Given the presence of nicotine in some models, the electronic cigarette is far from a trivial product. In children, ingesting a small amount of liquid can cause severe poisoning.” The Belgian Poison Centre cover all forms of poisoning and in their e-cig section it states that a “10mg dose of nicotine in a child can cause severe poisoning” and lists some of the symptoms to watch out for:
heart rhythm disorders and respiratory problems
If our child was ill would we even consider that they may have been messing around with an e-cig and that it may be the cause?
“Upon reading this advice warning from Belgium, I am appalled that some of these Electronic Cigarettes are so toxic and dangerous, particularly to children whilst readily available on the UK market. If a child innocently inhaled the contents without the parents knowledge and fell ill, what are the odds that any medical professional would suspect and diagnose poisoning from this source? I have yet to witness any public warnings within the UK aimed towards parents making them aware of these dangers!” – Stephen Hadley
Another thing to consider is our pets. Since sharing this post, we have also received messages about how pet owners need to be careful with their e-cigs (including disposal) as some pets have become ill after chewing on them!