Sour Spray Candy Warning
Netlore Archive: Forwarded email recounts an incident in which a child experienced a laryngospasm (involuntary closure of the larynx, obstructing breathing) after drinking sour spray candy directly from the container
Description: Email flier
Circulating since: May 2006
Status: Health agency has issued an advisory
Analysis: See below
Email example contributed by a reader, 30 May 2006:
We had a very scary incident with Kylin Saturday night all because of some candy. It's a liquid that's sour and you just spray it into your mouth. I was right by Kylin and her friend and heard them say that it would be fun to see what it would taste like if the drank some instead of just sprayed it. (you know, typical kid fun stuff, I thought nothing of it) So Kylin said she'd try it and took the lid off (it's just like a pump style hair spray top) and she took one sip. I turned around to ask if she was ok cause I thought she was making noises like when water or something just doesn't go down right and realized that she was just gasping over and over again for air and wasn't actually breathing. She was having a laryngospasm!
The definition of what happened is this -
The sudden acute spasm of the vocal cords (and epiglottis) that can result in occlusion of the airway and death.
This medical definition above is from http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/cgi-bin/omd?action=Home&query=
Anyway, Kylin's airways did close and she couldn't breath, so we had to call 911. She threw up before the ambulance got here and she did start being able to breath after that but still had difficulties for a little bit. The paramedics recommended we take her to the urgent care unit here and get her checked out just to be sure cause she continued to have weird spasms that were causing her throat to make a weird noise for about 2 hours after that. The doctor there is who told me what actually happened. She is ok now, thank God, but it was so super scary!!
Kylin and Daegen both have had sour spray candy before (not sure if they've had this kind though, I've seen a few different kinds) and this has never happened but it did this time.
I'm attaching a picture of the spray (like I said, there's lots of different variations out there) and am hoping that it will get forwarded and passed around so that hopefully no child or parent has to ever go through this again.
We are just so lucky that Kylin did start breathing again and is ok now.
I have been in contact with a lady from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and she came to take a look at it this morning and she took some pictures of it and then was on her way to the convenience store to buy some so they could further investigate in. I have also contacted Global news and they may do a story about it, I'm waiting to hear back from them while they are researching it a bit.
Here is the spray that caused this. It says "sour" at the top and then "Big Mouth candy spray" and it does come in different flavors, this one being sour green apple.
Please pass this on to as many people as you can!!!
Comments: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed receiving a report matching the above and issued an advisory dated June 9, 2006 warning that sour spray candy should be consumed only "as intended" i.e., sprayed on the tongue, not drunk straight from the bottle.
Laryngospasm a sudden, involuntary closure of the larynx is essentially a drowning reflex that closes off the air supply to the lungs. Children are especially prone to this condition, which can be caused by a foreign body, infection, or allergic reaction. Incidences of laryngospasm have been associated with the accidental aspiration of vinegar, which suggests that other highly acidic liquids may also be apt to trigger it.
From the CFIA advisory:
Sour spray candy is typically sold in spray top plastic bottles that contain a concentrated liquid. There are several types of sour spray candy products in the marketplace. Although an adverse health consequence is unlikely, as with all childrens novelty products, parents and caregivers are cautioned to familiarize themselves with the product in advance, noting any age restrictions and conditions of use indicated on the label.
The CFIA has received a report of a child who experienced throat spasms after drinking sour spray candy directly from the container.
While sour spray candy is safe for children to consume as intended, children should be cautioned against opening the container or trying to drink the product.
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Sources and further reading:
Advice Regarding the Use of Sour Spray Candy
Canadian Food Inspection Agency advisory, 9 June 2006
Laryngospasm: What Causes It?
Mayo Clinic, 23 November 2005
Last updated: 06/13/06
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