Mother warns of the dangers of glow sticks

Mother warns of the dangers of glow sticks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There will be a lot of trick-or-treaters carrying glow sticks Friday night some kids use them instead of flashlights or to brighten up their Halloween costumes.

But glow sticks can also pose a health risk if they break.
 
The most common call this time of year at Charlotte's Poison Control Center is as a result of glow sticks.
 
Shelly Ray thought glow sticks would be a fun treat for her kids but as she tried to open one, she said it broke and the liquid squirted into her eye.
 
"It took a good 20-30 minutes before I could even open my eye and even then it was sensitive to air and light," Ray said.
 
She said her eye still bothered her several days later so she saw a doctor who told her it was a chemical burn.
 
"That was really scary," Ray said. "You think, 'a chemical burn on your eye -- you only get one set,'" she said.
 
Each year the Carolinas Poison Center receives about 700 calls regarding glow sticks with most of them around Halloween.
 
"The problem is that they can break and the solution can get onto the skin or into the eye.
 
The liquid inside the glow sticks is an irritant -- so it might cause a little bit of brief burning and stinging wherever if it touches," said Anna Dulaney, clinical toxicologist at the Carolinas Poison Center.
 
Dulaney said the first thing you should do is to clean the affected area with water but she said there usually isn't any long-term damage.
 
"It may glow for a minute or so afterwards and that can be very frightening when you see the skin glowing or the mouth glowing, but that's just part of the nature of this chemical," Dulaney said.
 
Ray is expected to make a full recovery but she has a warning for other parents.
 
"Parents beware," Ray said. "I'm not going to allow them at my house anymore.
 
Ray filed a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The number to the Carolinas Poison Control Center is 1-800-222-1222 or visit their website.

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