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Gasoline Poisonings in Kids Spike During Summer: Study
Date:5/7/2013

esearch and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus reported that most hydrocarbon-related incidents occurred in boys and children aged 1 to 2 years. Gasoline was most commonly associated with emergency-room visits and calls to poison centers. Such exposures typically occurred during the refueling of a car. The study found that most incidents occurred at home. When parents called their regional poison centers, their cases were mostly managed at home without a visit to the emergency room.

"Hydrocarbons sound like something you would not have in your house, but it is found in so many household items from cleaning products and gasoline to kerosene and lighter fluid," said study co-author Dr. Lara McKenzie, at the Center for Injury Research and Policy. "You do have these things in your house and they can be really dangerous when children swallow them. It can look like apple juice or a blue sports drink because of the coloring and can smell appealing -- especially if it's not in the original container."

Children often find these chemicals in the house, drink them and start to choke and gasp for air. They take the chemicals into their lungs, which can cause a potentially fatal pulmonary problem.

Now that spring is turning into summer, risk of hydrocarbon-related injury is on the rise, McKenzie said.

"Store your household products up high where children can't reach or see them, and keep them in their original containers in locked cabinets," she said. "If you are having an outdoor barbecue and using tiki torches, be out there with the kids." And, she added, keep children in the car when you are filling up your gas tank.

Another expert offered additional safety advice.

"Kids get into stuff especially when they are young and around other kids," said Dr. Tamara Kuittinen, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Keep these products way above ground level and tell grandparents and other
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