Camphor Poisoning In Kids And Why You Need To Say ‘No’ To It

Camphor Poisoning In Kids And Why You Need To Say ‘No’ To It

30 Aug 2022 | 3 min Read

Reema Shah

Author | 630 Articles

For ages, camphor has been widely used in households for religious ceremonies, freshening a room, or for treating coughs and colds in adults and kids. However, there have been common instances of camphor poisoning and is considered dangerous for children due to its toxic properties. Here’s why you must avoid camphor and keep it away from children.

What Is Camphor?

Camphor is a pleasant-smelling white solid substance commonly used for religious purposes. Besides that, there are many other uses stated for camphor which include treating colds and congestion, protecting against illness, and as an air freshener.

Common Products Which Contain Camphor

Camphor is commonly found as solid cubes or balls and is present in balms or ointments. They are also present in products that are used for vapour steam.

Why Is Camphor Dangerous For Children?

Camphor products are highly toxic and dangerous to young children. Many times, children tend to confuse camphor with sugar cubes and consume them. Even mouthing camphor or eating them can cause seizures. Applying balms containing camphor in large amounts and diluting it to the water of a room humidifier may also cause harm to a child’s health.

The onset of symptoms after ingestion of camphor may occur as early as within five to twenty minutes.
Camphor is also a fire hazard and hence it should be kept away from heat, including hot water and microwaves which can be within the reach of children. Heating camphor can cause splattering and result in burns. Children can get exposed to camphor if it is swallowed, breathed in, or if it touches the skin.

Look for products that contain safe ingredients like peppermint as camphor is dangerous for children / Credit – Canva

Symptoms Of Camphor Poisoning In Children

Should a child inhale camphor or accidentally even consume it in micrograms, here are the expected symptoms-

  • Seizure
  • Stomach pain
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Nausea and vomiting

Prolonged exposure to camphor can even put kids at risk of brain damage.

What Should Parents Do?

  • Keep all camphor products away from the reach of children.
  • Avoid adding camphor to water humidifiers or place it in bowls that contain hot water
  • Do not scatter camphor products around the house because it can result in burns.
  • Avoid attaching camphor to your child as a bracelet or hanging them in things near your child.
  • Avoid using any camphor products on children who are under two years of age.
  • Avoid the use of camphor products that don’t have an ingredient label, and contain proper directions for use.
  • Read all product labels that you use on your child and follow instructions carefully to see if they are free from camphor.

Try Natural Vapor Patch Instead

If your child has congestion and a blocked nose, go for natural vapour patches that are free from camphor, like BabyChakra’s Natural Vapour Patch. It is safe for babies and adults, provides instant relief from nasal congestion and is effective for up to eight hours. It contains natural ingredients like peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil which are safe for babies and kids.

If your child shows signs of camphor poisoning, take him/her to the emergency room immediately. The best way out is to keep children out of reach of camphor and also avoid the ingredient in their skincare products. 

Cover image credit – Tradeindia

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