Health experts say the number of children who are poisoned by electronic cigarettes has risen by more than 1,500 percent over a three-year period.
E-cigarettes have been an alternative for smokers for nearly 10 years now. It’s a device containing nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled to simulate smoking tobacco.
A study conducted by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus found more than 4,000 children were exposed to e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine.
In 2012, researches said roughly 14 children per month were poisoned by e-cigarettes. That number rose to approximately 223 per month by the study concluded in April 2015.
Medics responded to Tecumseh Middle School on Friday after a student there accidentally ingested what was described by deputies as homemade e-cigarette fluid. The student was examined by medics and determined to be safe.
The school did everything right, and was proactive in securing the child’s safety, deputies said.
Children younger than age 6 years old are most vulnerable. Local health officials said small children often mistake the liquid nicotine for candy.
“That nicotine is colored brightly and flavored,”said Jessica Saunders, director for the Center of Child Health and Wellness at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “Little kids who stumble across it don’t know the difference.”
The liquid can cause poisoning when it is absorbed through the skin, but the majority of it’s caused when a child swallows it, researchers said. It can cause comas, seizures and trouble breathing.
In July, federal law will require all liquid nicotine to be sold in solid bottles that are child resistant.