Muscle rubs like Bengay® and Icy Hot® are used to soothe aches and pains in adults. However, they can be toxic if swallowed and should be kept out of reach of kids.
The active ingredient in many of these products is methyl salicylate, a medicine similar to aspirin. This product may cause severe nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, drowsiness and confusion depending on the amount swallowed and the child’s weight. It is important to call the poison center to find out right away if your child could have ingested a toxic dose.
If you notice that your child has ingested muscle cream, 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.