Freezer gel packs are a great way to keep school lunches cool, and they also ease swelling or soothe a cut. Some are designed for kids and come in cute shapes and bright colors, so it’s no wonder that kids are curious about these squishy gel packs.
A freezer gel pack is typically a portable plastic bag filled with a gel or liquid that remains cool hours after it is taken out of the freezer. Because the gel has a lower freezing point than water, it freezes slowly and remains a semi-solid when in use.
The gel in most freezer packs is non-toxic and biodegradable; it is usually a polymer or cellulose. Some products may also include additives like preservatives, sodium chloride, minerals, water, or dye.
Small ingestions are unlikely to cause any symptoms, but it is possible a minor upset stomach or loose stool could occur. If this gel comes into contact with a child’s eyes, it may cause mild irritation.
If you notice that your child has ingested some of the gel, do not panic. Take the product away from the child and wipe their mouth out with a soft wet cloth. You may give them some water to drink to get the taste out of their mouth. Do not try to induce vomiting.
After you have removed your child from the situation, immediately call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. Treatment recommendations are often determined by the amount ingested. The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies and questions and our team of medical professionals will help to walk you through the next steps.