Is it candy? Or is it…Skoal?

Do you keep tobacco products in your home? Do your kids visit friends or relatives who keep tobacco products around?

Unintentional ingestion of tobacco products is a major reason for infant and child poisonings, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Kids younger than 6 years old are particularly at risk.

And the new smokeless tobacco products that resemble candy raise the concern.

A study to be published in the May issue of Pediatrics examined information on childhood poisonings from 61 poison control centers.

The findings reported 13,705 instances of children ingesting tobacco products.

Poisoning from cigarettes were the number one cause of poisoning.

However, the AAP reports an uptick in smokeless tobacco products as a source of childhood tobacco ingestion. Some of the new products are enticing to kids because they come in small, flavored pellets that dissolve easily – resembling candy or mints.

The tins for flavored Skoal, for example, look very similar to tins of mints or little boxes of chewing gum, or this fruit-flavored candy.

How would a young child know the difference?

The AAP warns that increased availability of these new products could lead to an increased risk of unintentional poisonings in children. Researchers recommend that regulations should be put in place to protect children’s health.

The symptoms of nicotine poisoning include abdominal cramps, agitation, and rapid breathing.

Call Banner Health’s Poison Control line if you suspect a child has ingested a poisonous substance, such as nicotine. Keep nicotine cessation gums, patches or lozenges away from children- and pets – as well.

Smokeless tobacco causes oral cancer and lowers sperm count. Find out more about the risks from the Center for Disease Control and the AAP.

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