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Beware of broken glow sticks on Independence Day

Letting kids chew or cut glow sticks is a bad idea, health experts say.

While safer than sparklers and fireworks, pliable glow-in-the-dark products are easily broken open when put in the mouth. The contents can irritate the skin, eyes and mouth, the experts warn.

Some glow products contain a chemical called dibutyl phthalate (DBP). The liquid typically causes immediate stinging and a burning sensation in the mouth and eyes, according to the Nebraska Regional Poison Center in Omaha.

Last year, the poison center received 321 calls about glow products.

Here are some tips from the poison-control experts:

If ingested, the bitter-tasting chemical will likely cause brief discomfort in the mouth. Thorough rinsing should help.

If the liquid gets on the skin, wash it off immediately to prevent the child from rubbing the chemical in the eyes.

If it gets in the eyes, it will cause redness and burning. Prompt irrigation is necessary.

Exposure to DBP may cause serious symptoms in pets. They can include drooling, gagging and vomiting, according to the poison center.

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