Urgent reminder to ECEC services using hot/cold gel packs
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services are reminded of the dangers involved in allowing unsupervised use of hot/cold gel packs following a recall of some brands which contain ethylene glycol, a toxic substance.
Although the recall issued was issued over ten years ago, there are fears that some brands of gel pack may still be used in ECEC services who were unaware of the recall at the time. Gel packs are a commonly used way to manage minor injuries in children in the ECEC context.
The issue of the presence of ethylene glycol has been brought back to public attention following a child in New South Wales being admitted to hospital with renal failure after chewing the corner of a gel pack labelled “non toxic” and ingesting some of the contents.
Ethylene glycol is a toxic substance, more commonly known as antifreeze. One danger presented by ethylene glycol, aside from toxicity, is the extremely sweet taste, which may encourage children to continue to ingest it. In 2008 all sponsors of gel hot/cold packs were contacted by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) to obtain information about the contents of their products and to obtain samples for testing.
Following the testing period, the TGA was able to confirm that some of the products tested contained ethylene glycol, a potentially fatal product for children and animals.
Several brands of gel hot/cold packs, listed below, were recalled at the time, and the TGA website updated as further details of the affected products became available. ECEC services using gel packs should check if their packs match any of the brands listed below, and follow up with the manufacturer of the product for further advice.
The TGA reiterated at the time that adults should ensure that all gel hot/cold packs are kept out of reach of children and are only used under adult supervision. In the event of accidental ingestion patients are urged to attend the nearest emergency department immediately for assessment and further management.
|3P Pty Ltd|
|Glenageary Pty Ltd|
|Kendall (A Division of Tyco Healthcare Pty Ltd)|
|Tinsonax NSW Pty Ltd|
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