Dangerous trend with children and e-juice grows in Hawaii

An alarming trend is growing in Hawaii, involving children who are getting their hands on the liquid used in e-cigarettes and ingesting it. The liquid can cause a variety of health problems for young children, even death.

In just one year, the number of poisoning cases in Hawaii involving children under the age of five doubled, rising from eight cases of exposure in 2012 to 17 cases in 2013, though none of them were fatal. Seventy-four poison cases were reported nationwide in 2013.

Experts say because of the juice’s color and pretty packaging, children may think it’s candy.

The Hawaii Poison Hotline says there’s even more danger with the little bottles.

“Depending on the amount of nicotine in the fluid, that’s the problem,” said Alvin Bronstein, medical director, Hawaii Poison Hotline. “Sometimes these fluids are also flavored. They might be attractive to a child, and the bottles are not usually child resistant closures.”

Experts believe if children ingest “e-juice,” the nicotine exposure could kill them.

“Symptoms can range from a minor stomach upset with nausea and vomiting, and with larger amounts, it can cause problems with the nervous systems, like tremors, seizures, and they can die with large amounts of nicotine,” Bronstein said.

Parents are being urged to keep their e-juice locked away and out of the reach of children.

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