If you are using e-cigarettes, make sure to keep the liquid mixture of nicotine and other compounds away from the reach of children, new research suggests. Instead of tobacco, those who use e-cigarettes vaporise a liquid mixture of nicotine, glycerin and glycol ethers. The liquid form is flavoured, which appeals to children. But if ingested, a teaspoon of this “e-liquid” can be lethal to a child, and smaller amounts can cause nausea and vomiting that require emergency care. Exposure to skin also can sicken children. Last year, a toddler in New York died after ingesting liquid nicotine intended for use in an e-cigarette, the study pointed out.

However, the researchers found that many parents are not aware of the dangers of e-liquid to children. “These are largely avoidable risks, but because e-cigarettes are relatively new, many people – including pediatricians – are not aware of the dangers or the steps that should be taken to protect children from them,” said first author Jane Garbutt, professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. For the study, 658 parents and guardians at 15 pediatric clinics in the US completed surveys about their knowledge and use of e-cigarettes.

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