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Why People Accidentally Drink Kerosene

Updated on March 31, 2012

Another Name for Kerosene Is Paraffin

Kerosene is a liquid fuel which is obtained from distillation of crude oil. The word kerosene comes from Greek word ‘keros’ which means wax. Another name for kerosene is paraffin as used by Britons and in former colonies of Great Britain. Kerosene makes at least 60 percent of jet fuels. In this world, a large percentage of the 7 billion people, especially in the developing countries, use kerosene for cooking.

How Do People Accidentally Drink Kerosene?

A question is asked by ngureco as follow: “How do people accidentally drink kerosene? …How comes people accidentally drink kerosene? And can drinking kerosene kill you?”

Kerosene in a bottle - keep kerosene out of reach of the children
Kerosene in a bottle - keep kerosene out of reach of the children

Keep Out Of Reach of Children

When you deal with millions of people, be prepared to encounter all types of behaviors. Drinking kerosene may seem odd and usually happens among children. You must have learnt that all medicine and poisons should be kept out of reach of the children. In communities where there is poverty, most people there are illiterate and mothers have endless chores to attend to. It is because of this that children are left to play on their own and children have little sense of what is safe or unsafe to eat.

Don’t Refer Medicine as Candy

Naturally, children can be difficult to take their medicines and usually mothers will refer to medicine as candy or soda so that the child can agree to take the medicine. Sooner, the child will get to learn how the container of candy or soda look like and therefore any content in such a container is drank as soda or candy. This is one reason why children accidentally drink kerosene that has been put in such containers not withstanding the nasty smell and noxious fumes of kerosene.

The Child Who Drank Kerosene and Died

Here is an example of real life experience of a child who drank kerosene and died: In India, an 18 months old child by the name Mohammed Shabir, while playing in their house finds kerosene in a bottle of soda. His mother is busy elsewhere attending to other chores. Young Shabir drank the kerosene thinking its soda. His mother finds him crying and vomiting. He is taken to hospital and doctors tries to save his life but unfortunately Shabir dies.

Kerosene Damages to Lungs

Kerosene is not all that poisonous but if you drink it and you vomit, then, you have drank too much and you just have to die. When you vomit kerosene, your lungs are attacked by droplets of kerosene and will damage your lungs leading to your death. If you have a prolonged exposure to kerosene, the most common health effect you are likely to get is skin damage such as dermatitis, irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, convulsions, and perhaps coma and death.


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