Quick Facts about hair gel:
Hair gels, like other cosmetic products, are often kept on bathroom countertops, making them easy for children to reach. Small children may be attracted to the way hair gel smells or simply want to imitate you by using the product. This can lead children to an unintentional exposure, such as a drop of the product getting into their eyes or mouth.
Because these products contain mostly water and polymers for thickening or holding the hair, hair gel has a low risk of toxicity. However, depending on the amount ingested, the product may cause symptoms like stomach upset or – if in the eye – minor irritation. Some brands of hair gel or mousse may contain alcohol. If this is the case, it may cause more serious symptoms, although children do not usually swallow enough to cause alcohol intoxication.
If your child has gotten hair gel into their eyes, call the Missouri Poison Center right away for help and specific instructions as to how to rinse the eye. If you notice that your child has ingested hair gel, it is important not to panic. Most children will react to the taste, and may cough or gag. 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.