Urgent reminder to ECEC services using hot/cold gel packs

Urgent reminder to ECEC services using hot/cold gel packs

by Freya Lucas

January 16, 2019

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.

 

Sponsor Product description
3P Pty Ltd

(3 products)

  • Surgical Basics Hot / Cold Pack
    Item SB700, Small size 11×27 cm

 

  • Surgical Basics Hot / Cold Pack
    Item SB701, Large size 17×29 cm

 

  • SOFT R&R Hot/Cold Pack
    Item SB703

 

 

Brand Promotions

(1 product)

  • Hot & Cold Pack (labelled with ‘Atacand® candesartan cilexetil’ or ‘Crestor® rosuvastatin’)


 Supplied to health care professionals only

Eastland Medical

(7 products)

  • REDI™ Eye Mask Hot/Cold Pack

 

  • REDI™ Full Face Mask Hot/Cold Pack

 

  • REDI™ Face mask Hot/Cold Pack

 

  • REDI™ Hot/Cold Pack – small dual colour

 

  • REDI™ Hot/Cold Pack with compression wrap – small dual colour

 

  • REDI™ Hot/Cold Pack – small PVC

 

  • Frosty Bear™ REDI™ Hot/Cold Pack
Glenageary Pty Ltd

(1 product)

  • smartchoices™ Breast Soother®
Kendall (A Division of Tyco Healthcare Pty Ltd)

(6 products)

  • Surgipack Soft Hot/Cold Pack Large (Code 6230)

 

  • Surgipack Soft Hot/Cold Pack Small (Code 6231)

 

  • Surgipack Soft Reusable Eye Mask Hot/Cold Pack (Code 6234)

 

  • Surgipack Flexible Hot/Cold Pack (Code 6227)

 

  • Body Plus Reusable Cold-Hot Pack Regular Size (Code BP1001)

 

  • Body Plus Reusable Cold-Hot Pack Super Size (Code BP1002)
Orthopaedic Appliances

(1 product)

  • OAPL Professional Reusable Hot and Cold Pack (on packaging), SOFT R&R Cold Hot Pack (on product)
Tinsonax NSW Pty Ltd

(2 products)

  • Medispot SOFT Hot/Cold Pack – Medium

 

  • Medispot SOFT Hot/Cold Pack – Large

 

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