Small children want to join in 4th of July fun as well as older kids and adults so a convenient alternative is a glow stick. Nebraska Regional Poison Control Center Public Education Coordinator Joan McVoy says those sticks are soft and small children love to chew on them.
Glow sticks contain a liquid called dibutyl phthalate which has a strong taste and can cause irritation. It also leaves children with a glowing mouth. McVoy says a trip to the emergency room is not necessary and instead recommends giving the PoisonCenter a call at 1-800-222-1222 and they can talk you through what to do.
The Poison Center recommends no glow sticks for kids 3 and under and keep them away from pets. The liquid in the sticks can also stain furniture, carpet and clothing.
McVoy says there is also a concern about fireworks. They contain chemicals such as potassium nitrate, white phosphorus and even arsenic. Packaging is bright and attractive to small children and some of those chemicals could be on the outside of the firework as well. If kids handle them and then put their fingers in their mouth they could get sick.