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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.
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?