Accidental exposure to toxic chemicals is a major concern for all of us, particularly for our children. Many households in different parts of the globe store chemicals/drugs right from medicine, toiletries, corrosives, etc. in bottles of various sizes, shapes, and substances. Many a time such bottles are either newly purchased or are empty bottles of previously-stored liquids or other contents. Such used bottles or containers are frequently used for preserving corrosives or household cleaning substances in homes. Such unlabelled or used bottles can become culprits for causing accidental poisoning to anyone, especially children leading to grave harm to their health and safety.
In the present case, a 3-month-old male infant was brought to our pediatric emergency unit with a history of difficulty of breathing, blackening of the tongue, with sudden onset of crying, and inconsolability after being given water from a plastic bottle by his aunt. After a detailed assessment, it was found that the infant has a blackish color corrosive injury in and around the mouth involving the anterior half of the tongue, and lips with evidence of trickling drop type corrosive injuries over the right side of the neck and right supraclavicular region. Internally, except for epiglottic edema, no other significant findings were noted. On follow-up examination, the complication was noticed as the process of healing of the corrosive injury in and around the mouth as a fish mouth appearance. Upon investigation, it was found that the infant was sick with fever for which he was given contents from an unlabelled plastic bottle containing battery acid (sulfuric acid, H2SO4) thinking it was the water of Zam Zam. Dispensing contents from unlabelled containers can be a potential threat to the lives of children as well as adults.
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