Release date: October 28, 1991
Release number: 92-009

Release Details

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today warned parents of a serious hazard to children from drinking the fuel from small oil lamps which can be used to light Halloween Jack-O'-Lanterns in place of a candle. The lamp oil is particularly hazardous if aspirated into the lungs where it can cause chemical pneumonia. The Commission is aware of 10 reports of toddlers ingesting the fuel from these lamps. Some of these children have been hospitalized. One child died from ingesting oil from a similar lamp.

These oil lamps consist of a small cylindrical reservoir containing several ounces of oil with a lamp wick protruding through the center of the reservoir's top. The fuel reservoir is often orange in color and may be decorated with Halloween graphics. Frequently the wick is covered by a child resistant cap which must be removed before the lamp is lit. Because these oil lamps are brightly colored and display a Halloween motif, they can be attractive to young children. The lamps are sold nationwide for approximately $1.00.

If the lamp is provided with a child resistant cap over the lamp's wick, parents should securely replace the child resistant cap after using the lamp. These lamps should always be kept out of the reach of young children and when not in use should be carefully stored safely away from children.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is issuing this warning as part of its mission to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products. The Commission's objective is to reduce the estimated 28.5 million injuries and 21,600 deaths associated each year with the 15,000 different types of consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction.

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