KENT, Wash. - A Kent toddler was poisoned by liquid nicotine. Winona, 22-months, found the bottle of liquid her dad uses in E-cigarettes and drank it. When her mother found her she was already showing symptoms. “Her eyes were rolling back into her head,” said Nicole Oliver. She didn’t know what Winona drank, then she saw the bottle had been left at her house. “I saw it was her dad’s E-cigarette vapor. In that second it clicked into my head, I was going to lose my daughter,” described Oliver.
She called 911, medics arrived and called the Washington Poison Center and they then took her to Valley Medical Center.
Dr. Alexander Garrard of the Washington Poison Center says calls for liquid nicotine poisoning are skyrocketing. In the last few years calls are up more than 700 percent. Garrard says children think the liquid is candy. It comes in flavors like strawberry and sour apple. It smells sweet. He says ingesting it can be deadly.
“It can cause stomach upset, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, even seizures and coma. Ultimately death if they get enough of it,” said Garrard.
He says the bottles look like eye droppers. They’re easy to open.
“Child resistant caps aren’t mandated. It’s a screw on cap and a child can easily open it,” said Garrard.
Doctors watched Winona at the hospital. She was able to go home five hours later. It was an experience her mom doesn’t want other parents to experience. She said if she had known the bottle was in her home, she would have put it out of reach, even locked it up.
"It was probably the scariest waiting game of my life,” said Oliver, “to think I could have lost her.”