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Adhesive flaps on paper tissue packagings can lead to choking accidents with small children

41/2016, 05.10.2016

BfR advises parents to be careful

Adhesive flaps on the packaging of paper tissues can result in dangerous health impairments or even choking fits if swallowed by infants or toddlers. "In the past ten years, a total of 23 cases where paper tissue adhesive tabs had been swallowed have been reported to the BfR by hospitals, clinics and poisons centres," relates BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. In addition to cases without any symptoms, the health impairments reported ranged from minor breathing complaints to severe, life-threatening respiratory distress. "As a precaution, we therefore advise all parents not to use packagings with adhesive flaps as toys for infants and toddlers".

Because of the rustling noise they make, paper tissue packagings are often given to small children as a toy to play with in their hands or as a distraction. If an adhesive flap is swallowed by a small child, however, it can get stuck in the throat and inhibit breathing. On top of this, because the adhesive flaps are often made of transparent material, it is more difficult for parents or doctors to locate them in the throat. If an adhesive flap is swallowed without impairing breathing, this does not usually pose any problems in the gastrointestinal tract and the flap is excreted by natural means.

Important tips and information on cases of poisoning and choking among infants and toddlers are contained in the BfR brochure "Risk – Poisoning Accidents Involving Children"

http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/350/risiko-vergiftungsunfaelle-bei-kindern.pdf PDF-File (1.3 MB)

The free BfR app "Poisoning Accidents with Children" contains on-the-spot first aid measures in the event of poisoning or choking accidents:

http://www.bfr.bund.de/de/apps_vergiftungsunfaelle.html

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.

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