Following the terrible news of the reported death of a baby from ingestion of liquid nicotine, RoSPA is reminding parents to be vigilant with their e-cigarettes and keep them and their refills out of the reach of young children.
The baby is believed to have died in Australia after ingesting some of the liquid contained within an e-cigarette.
Although the death of a child is extremely rare, RoSPA is aware of cases in which children have had to be taken to hospital. E-cigarette liquid tastes sweet but it is poisonous and should never be swallowed.
If a child has swallowed a small amount of the liquid, symptoms are usually mild and can include nausea and vomiting, but ingestion of larger amounts can lead to more serious issues.
Sheila Merrill, acting head of policy for RoSPA, said: “Children watch and copy, while they also learn about their environment by putting things in their mouths, so it’s easy to imagine how something like this could happen. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to keep e-cigarettes and liquid refills out of the reach of children.
“If you think your child has swallowed liquid nicotine, contact your GP or call NHS 111. If it’s an emergency, dial 999.”
The smell of e-cigarette fluid is attractive to dogs but also highly toxic, so a small number of animals are also known to have died as a result of chewing e-cigarettes or their refills.
There have also been cases in which poorly-made or counterfeit e-cigarettes or chargers have caused house fires or serious burns for people who have been carrying them in their pockets. Only buy e-cigarettes from reputable outlets, use the correct charger for the device, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and ensure not to leave them charging unattended or overnight.
Always keep e-cigarettes, chargers and re-fills out of the reach of young children and pets.
For more information, see our vaping page.