(UNDATED) - The CDC says more kids are being treated for poisoning from the nicotine liquid that goes in e-cigarettes.
The government agency says calls to poison control centers related to the e-cig liquid more than tripled between 2012 and 2013, with more than 1,300 calls reported.
Fortunately, no deaths were reported and almost three-quarters of the children whose parents caught them with the liquid did not have to go to a hospital. That doesn't mean it isn't a problem.
"We as parents sometimes don't think parents will touch harmful things, but preschoolers are eager to touch and taste most everything," said Dr. Tanya Hole, a peditrician at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. The doctor says the numbers should not surprise anyone, since the use of e-cigarettes has grown enormously over the past few years.
"We haven't seen a horrible rash of patients coming in, but we are hearing about it more and more," Hole said. Some children are drinking the liquid, "and it can actually be absorbed through the skin, too if some of the liquid spills on the outside of the bottle and children touch it."
While there have been no serious injuries so far, "it can reach toxic levels, because preschoolers are much smaller than adults," Hole said.
Adults, for that matter, are also at risk for absorbing nicotine if they touch the liquid, though the short-term risks are small.
One problem, Hole suggested, is that containers for e-cigarette liquid don't have to feature lids that can prevent children from opening them right now.
"The solution is not regulated by the government, yet, so the makers aren't required to have child-proof caps."
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