Child Ate Glow Stick | Illinois Poison Center 
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My Child Ate Glow Stick

Oct 20, 2020
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Glow Stick                                                                



This information applies to children who have unintentionally swallowed a small amount. If the child swallowed more than one mouthful, is having symptoms, or if you are not positive of the exact substance or amount swallowed, call your local Poison Center immediately 1-800-222-1222 to speak to a nurse, pharmacist or physician for recommendations specific to your situation.  The call is free and confidential.


  • Toxicity Level:  Minimally toxic in a small amount such as a taste or a lick.


  • What It Is:  A glow stick is a tube-shaped toy that produces its own light by a chemical reaction inside the tube.   Glow sticks come in a variety of shapes, including jewelry such as bracelets.  The exact chemicals inside a glow stick may differ based on the color of light emitted.


  • Toxicity:  Ingestion of a mouthful of the liquid from a glow stick is considered to be minimally toxic, causing only minor mouth or throat irritation.  The liquid may also cause minor skin redness or irritation.  If glow stick liquid is squirted into the eyes, it can cause eye injury because the eyes are more sensitive than the skin in the mouth or on the body.  If an eye exposure occurs, follow the instructions in the eye exposure information section and then call 1-800-222-1222 for advice specific to your situation.


  • Possible Symptoms of Poisoning:  Mouth or throat irritation, vomiting, skin irritation or redness, chemical burns to the eyes (if squirted into the eyes).

NOTE:  You should be concerned if your child experiences these symptoms:  persistent vomiting, sores or blisters where the liquid has touched, or if the liquid has gotten the liquid in their eye(s).  If any of these occur, please call your local Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for further information.



  • What You Should Do:  If your child ingested fluid from a glow stick but is not having any symptoms, give a few sips of water and observe for the symptoms described above.  If your child is having any symptoms, call your local Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.  If the glow stick fluid is on the skin, wash affected skin with soap and water, and change clothes that have any liquid on them. If an eye exposure has occurred, follow the instructions in the eye exposure information section and then call 1-800-222-1222 for advice specific to your situation. 

NOTE:  If your child has gotten this substance in their eyes, please view our Eye Exposure information.



  • Other Information:  It is important to wash off the liquid as soon as possible after the glow stick leaks.  If the liquid sits on the skin for extended period, more serious skin injury can occur (such as blisters or chemical burns). 




If you have any further questions about this substance, or if your child is experiencing any symptoms, call the poison center experts who are available 24/7 via the free, confidential helpline: 1-800-222-1222.   Don’t guess, be sure!



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The IPC is the oldest poison center in the U.S. and serves one of the largest populations of all poison centers in the nation (covers all 102 Illinois counties with a total estimated population of nearly 12.9 million).  The IPC:


  • Provides a variety of free education and presentation materials that can be shared with your community (stickers, magnets, posters, children’s activity sheets, handouts, etc.).  Prior to placing your first order, if you haven’t already done so, please complete the free online Poison Prevention Education Course and Resource Center (PPERC) .  Eligible persons: anyone age 13 years or older living/working in Illinois; general public and healthcare providers alike.



  • Saves lives and improves patient care by working hand-in-hand with hospitals in Illinois to provide expert medical advice to doctors, nurses and paramedics treating patients exposed to potentially harmful substances. In addition, the IPC saves the people of Illinois $60 million annually by resolving 90 percent of poisoning cases from the general public over the telephone, preventing unnecessary 911 calls and visits to a doctor or hospital.  Click here for more information.