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Hospital advises caution to prevent gasoline exposure among kids

May 7, 2013

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Columbus, OH – Children are more likely to be exposed to hydrocarbons in the summer when activities such as mowing the lawn and grilling take place, according to a new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Approximately 66,000 calls to poison control centers and 40,000 emergency department visits related to hydrocarbons occurred between 2000 and 2009, the study abstract states. Researchers credited changes in packaging laws and public awareness campaigns with a decrease in hydrocarbon poisonings, but said gasoline exposure during refueling of motor vehicles remains an issue. Hydrocarbons also are found in lighter fluid, mineral oil and some cleaning products. Children are at risk for swallowing and choking on them, which can lead to lung injury.

The hospital suggests parents and caregivers:

  • Store products high up where children cannot see or reach them, or in locked cabinets.
  • Keep products in their original, child-resistant containers.
  • Keep children inside the vehicle during refueling.

The study was published online May 6 in the journal Pediatrics.

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