Most parents recognize the fact that fireworks and small children just don’t mix. Glow sticks and glow jewelry are a safer alternative to bottle rockets and sparklers that can cause serious burns. But these brightly colored glow products are soft and pliable and easily broken open, especially by children.
A child with a glowing mouth can cause some anxious moments for parents, but it’s typically not worth a trip to the emergency room. Even so, parents should call the Idaho Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 to be sure.
Last year the Idaho Poison Center managed 127 calls concerning glow products.
The chemical inside the plastic tube is called dibutyl phthalate (DBP). This liquid is oily and has a very bitter taste. It generally causes an immediate stinging and burning sensation to the mouth and eyes. If the liquid is ingested, it should cause only brief discomfort to the mouth and can be treated by rinsing thoroughly. Parents also should immediately wash any skin with the liquid on it to prevent the child from rubbing it into their eyes. If the liquid gets into the eye it will cause immediate redness and burning. Prompt irrigation is needed.
Pets may see more serious symptoms after an exposure to DBP. Cats are fastidious groomers and ingest the product if it is spilled on their coat. One bite to a glow stick can cause drooling, gagging and vomiting in pets.
Call the Idaho Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 before rushing your child to an emergency room. Nurses at the Poison Center offer immediate care advice as well as follow-up calls if necessary. They can address your specific situation, which could save you time and money by avoiding an unnecessary trip to the hospital.