The Nebraska Poison Center reminds everyone that as seasons change so do the poisoning risks. Hydrocarbons are chemicals found in gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, cleaners and some insecticides. They are among the top 10 causes of pediatric poisoning deaths in the United States.
Poisonings from these products has decreased over the last 10 years due to changes in packaging laws and increased awareness. Unfortunately, deaths still occur, especially at this time of year.
Children might ingest the hydrocarbon or it might get splashed on them.
Spring and summer months see an increase in the use of tiki torches, charcoal BBQ pits and lawn mowers. These are fueled by hydrocarbons.
A recent study in the journal Pediatrics found that most hydrocarbon-related incidents occurred in children aged 1-2 years, the state poison center said. Some of the packaging is similar to juice and sports drinks – which has resulted in tragic accidents.
The Nebraska Poison Center offers these helpful tips:
• Children should remain in the car when refueling at gas stations.
• Store all hydrocarbons up out of sight and out of reach of children.
• Always store these products in their original containers and away from food.
• When you are having a barbecue and using tiki torches, there should always be adult supervision of children.
• Fill lawn mowers and then safely store your gas container before doing the yard.
• Don’t siphon gasoline in front of children.
• If hydrocarbons are ingested or splashed onto skin or eyes - contact the poison center immediately at 1-800-222-1222.