Camphor-containing products tied to kids seizures

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Heather, it's OK to post a short snippet from the article highlighting what it's all about:
Camphor-containing products, commonly used to ease cold symptoms, deter pests, or for spiritual purposes, can be highly toxic to young children, researchers warn in the journal Pediatrics.

Camphor ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin, as well as a combination of these exposures may cause seizures up to 90 minutes after exposure, they note.

"Parents should treat these products the way they treat other poisonous products," Dr. Hnin Khine, with Children's Hospital at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, told Reuters Health.

Camphor -- distilled from the bark and wood of the Cinnamonum camphora tree native to Southeast Asia and adjacent islands -- may be more potent in imported products than in over-the-counter preparations regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The third case involved a 3-year old girl, with previous seizure history. When directly questioned about camphor use, the child's mother noted she had been rubbing a properly labeled camphor ointment on the child to relieve cold symptoms, while also using other camphor products extensively throughout the home.

FYI - many lip balm/cold sore ointments like Blistex/Lip Medex, Carmex, etc. contain camphor as one of the active ingredients.
Thank you for this very infomative piece! No wonder the epi at Hopkins was insistent Rachel only use Original Chapstick. Good to know and I'll pass on to the other parents in my little group...

You mean stuff like campho-phenique?
I use Berts Bees lip balm. I guess I'll have to read the ingredients. Although, I don't use campho-phenique much. or Vicks vapo-rub.
However, sometimes I use tea tree oil. I wonder if that is the same?
You mean stuff like campho-phenique?
I use Berts Bees lip balm. I guess I'll have to read the ingredients. Although, I don't use campho-phenique much. or Vicks vapo-rub.
However, sometimes I use tea tree oil. I wonder if that is the same?

I love Bert's Bees!!!!! I use almost everything. I also use tea tree oil on my face to help with my complexion.
From what I understand camphor, like sweet birch and wintergreen (both of which contain methyl salicylate, a chemical common in warming muscle rubs) are all essential oils that need to be used in dilution. They can all be absorbed through the skin and have been known to cause seizures, and even death if used in excess.

So far as I know, tea tree oil does not contain either camphor, or methyl salicylate, and I've never heard of dermal toxicity by it. I do know that some people with sensitive skin can get chemical burns if they use tea tree oil undiluted.
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hmm.. very informative occb!

You seem to know a little about a lot... just like me. Did you know american car horns beep in the tone of F?
That's news to me! In F, eh? I wonder what THAT's supposed to mean :lol:

EDIT: I just realized my previous post sounds pretty alarmist. It's not intended that way. Wintergreen and sweet birch and products containing methyl salicylate can be used safely, just not morning,noon, and night for an extended period of time. When you buy the essential oils, there are instructions on the bottle how to dilute it to safe levels. I use sweet birch often, and have never had an issue. As for camphor in chapstick? I don't know why anyone would add that to something that gets ingested through lip-licking, no matter how little is in there.
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I was

curious about that, OCCB. Thanks for clarifying things!!! :bigsmile:
Hi, I'm new here. Need to warn you all that TEA TREE is trigger for epilepsy. My son was aged 9 and suffered a run of seizures, unlike his usual, which lasted a month. After much detective work I discovered it was a children's shampoo containing tea tree that I had inadvertently been using on him. After switching to another shampoo his seizures returned to previous.

The manufactures were contacted and after much conversation they have now added a warning onto the rear of the bottle.

Hope this helps someone to not go through what we did!
Wow, I never thought of that! I have that in my face soap.... Clearasel daily face wash.
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