E-Cigarettes poisoning children

E-Cigarettes poisoning children

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Electronic cigarettes are gaining popularity because they are marketed as a safer alternative to smoking.

But the Amarillo Poison Control Center says there are other dangers surrounding the device that parents should be aware of.

Registered Nurse Cristie Johnston says a recent spike in phone calls, about e-cigarette poisonings, are causing concern.

"In 2011, we had maybe 10 cases. But, last year we had over 100 cases reported, and those are just the ones we get calls about," she said.

The highly concentrated solution that goes into the electronic device is to blame.

In many cases, children are drinking the liquid which can be very harmful.

The Poison Control Center says even just a small amount can lead to vomiting, sweating and seizures, which in some cases can lead to death.

"It used to be that we were worried about cigarettes," Johnston said. "One cigarette used to send a kid to a hospital and now it's just a little bit of that concentrated liquid."

With colorful casings and a variety of flavors, Johnston says the devices can be appealing to children, especially toddlers,  who often put things in their mouths.

"If they can walk, if they can crawl and they  can pull up, they can get into stuff," she said.

The best thing to do to protect your children, is lock up your e-cigarette when you are not using it.

Of course, if you think your child has gotten a hold of your e-cigarette, contact Poison Control or call 9-1-1.

Colleen Nelson - NewsChannel 10