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Electronic Cigarette Poisoning in Children Growing

Decatur- The amount of young children getting sick from electronic cigarettes has increased almost 1500% since 2012.

That’s according to a new study of poison center calls from 2012 through April 2015. The data was collected by measuring the amount of monthly calls of children ingesting liquid nicotine found in e-cigarettes. The calls went from 14 a month in 2012, to 223 a month by the end of the study in April 2015.

The children most effected were those younger than the age of 2. Professionals attribute the increase in these incidents in the way that liquid nicotine is displayed, often times coming in colorful packages.

Symptoms of nicotine exposure included an increased heart rate, fast breathing, nausea or vomiting. While most of these cases do not end up with the child being seriously harmed, one child has died from the exposure, and several have had serious complications causing comas and seizures.

According to Dr. Terry Balagna, an emergency physician at St. Mary’s Hospital, since this a relatively new epidemic, there has not been a lot of research done on the long term effects.

“Nicotine ingestion is fairly new at this point, especially for pediatrics, there have been a few studies early on, but nothing yet that shows any long term effects at this point.” he said.

Parents who use electronic cigarettes are being told to use caution when storing the liquid nicotine, so a child can not easily access it.

The FDA has recently issued new regulations that will require nicotine exposure warnings and child resistant packaging.

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