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Medium Risk

Also known as:

chest rub Mentholatum® Vaporizing Rub Vick’s® BabyRub™ Vick’s® VapoRub® Vick’s® VapoShower™ Vick’s® VapoSteam® Zarbee’s® Chest Rub

Possible Symptoms
  • Minor upset stomach
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Larger exposures can cause more serious symptoms
  • Eye irritation and discomfort
What to Do
  1. Wipe or rinse out the mouth.
  2. Give a serving size of water to drink.
  3. Call 1-800-222-1222 for additional instructions.
If Exposed to Eyes
  1. Start rinsing eye(s) with lukewarm water.
  2. Call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for further recommendations.


VapoRub® should only be used as directed. Do not apply to the nostrils or open wounds.

Additional Information

Quick Facts about VapoRub:

Parents and grandparents have relied on products like Vicks VapoRubⓇ for decades. Also called chest rub or vaporizing rub, these products typically contain a combination of camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil. VapoRub is used to ease colds and upper respiratory infections in children and adults. However, there are precautions that parents need to be aware of.

VapoRub should NOT be used on children under 2 years of age. It is dangerous for infants and young toddlers because it contains camphor, which is highly toxic if ingested. A taste amount does not usually cause many symptoms. However, if too much camphor is swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, it can poison young children, causing vomiting, seizures, respiratory distress, coma, or death. In addition, vaporub should ONLY be used as directed: Applied only to the chest, back, or throat; not to the nostrils or on open wounds.

If you notice that your child has ingested vapoRub, it is important not to panic. Most children will react strongly to the taste of it 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.

Take The Missouri Poison Center With You

Emergencies don’t wait for you, so you shouldn’t have to wait to call for help. Get the Missouri Poison Center app with poison information and a link to the Poison Help Line. It is just a click away during the most stressful moments. Our registered nurses and pharmacists are here 24/7/365 days a year to help guide you through poison exposures and overdose emergencies.

Don’t wait. Download now.

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