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.