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Why injury? It's this simple: more children die from injuries every year than from the next three leading causes of death combined. Nobody knows this because no one is talking about it. In the U.S., one child dies every hour from an injury that could have been prevented. Around the world, a child dies every 30 seconds as the result of an injury. You don’t need to have a child to know that we can do better.

 

Yes, It Really Happens: Kids Will Drink Tiki Torch Fuel

End Injury

Which of these bottles is juice and which is Tiki torch fuel? You might be able to tell, but can your kids? (Photos from  UAB Youth Safety Lab .)

Which of these bottles is juice and which is Tiki torch fuel? You might be able to tell, but can your kids? (Photos from UAB Youth Safety Lab.)

Recently, at a July 4th backyard barbecue, I noticed two bottles of Tiki torch fuel sitting on the deck floor by the steps. I found the friend who was hosting the party and asked if there was somewhere safe I could put the bottles.

“I think we just keep them on a shelf in the garage,” she replied. “Why?”

I responded that kids—many of whom were running through the sprinkler set up in the yard—often think Tiki torch fuel is apple juice and have been known to drink it. She looked at me with a combination of surprise and skepticism.

“That doesn’t really happen, does it?”

Yes, it really does happen. Here are two examples:

It was just that quick. I turned for two seconds, and he had it in his hand and was drinking it.
— Heather Avery, mother of a 2-year-old injured by torch fuel
Rodgers said her 2-year-old grandson drank the petroleum product put inside tiki-torch lights thinking it was apple juice.
— News story on http://www.koco.com/

And it’s not just children. Fuel manufacturers have started to make changes to bottles to make them less appealing to kids, but that doesn’t stop people from pouring the fuel into cups and other containers, which then can easily be confused for juice. In fact, I know a woman whose grandmother died after drinking torch fuel that had been poured into a cup, and I found this report online.

Help keep everyone a little safer around Tiki torch fuel. Leave it in the original container and treat it like other poisons: store it up, away, and out of sight.

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