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6-Year-Old Girl Nearly Dies After Drinking Mom's Liquid Nicotine

We know liquid nicotine is dangerous for kids, and no story better illustrates that potentially deadly fact more clearly than this one.

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A scary new story involving a 6-year-old Oregon girl who ended up in the emergency room highlights the dangers of liquid nicotine for kids.

Health Day reports that the girl's mom used an empty ibuprofen bottle to mix unflavored liquid nicotine she bought online with vegetable glycerin. But her father didn't know this, and dosed his daughter with 10ml of what he believed was ibuprofen to treat her sprained ankle, according to USA Today.

Right after taking the "medicine," the 6-year-old lost consciousness. The dad reportedly called 911 and poison control immediately, but the damage was significant. The child was rushed to the E.R., where she was treated for acute nicotine poisoning and placed on a ventilator.

According to a press release about a subsequent report on this case, the child suffered an altered mental status, a drop in heart rate, vomiting, profuse sweating, muscle twitching, and other concerning effects. However, she was released from the hospital after recovering.

Apparently, she is lucky to be alive, especially considering the child had ingested 700 milligrams of liquid nicotine (500 mg can kill an adult). The AAP notes that even a very small amount of liquid nicotine can be fatal for a child.

Dr. Matthew Noble, who wrote the report about the terrifying incident in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, said, "As electronic cigarette use proliferates, children are now increasingly at risk of toxicity from ingestions of much larger quantities of nicotine from highly concentrated refill liquid. We expect that emergency physicians and poison centers will continue to encounter...cases of nicotine toxicity, especially in pediatric patients."

If you or someone in your home uses liquid nicotine, here is how to keep kids safe:

  • Keep all supplies out of reach of kids.
  • Make sure to store liquid nicotine in child-resistant packages. According to the AAP, only some liquid nicotine bottles are sold in child-proof containers.
  • Never use empty containers that are unlabeled or not labeled properly to mix liquid nicotine.
  • Keep poison control's phone number on hand: (800) 222-1222

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.