Warning over 'very dangerous' lollies for young children

Parents are being warned about the dangers of sour lollies after a young child suffered horrific burns on their tongue after consuming them.

Safety and first-aid service CPR Kids shared a shocking image on Facebook which showed the damage caused by consuming the sweet with the child's skin being burned right off their tongue.

It's not known exactly which product the child consumed, or how much of it, but Warheads and TNT are among the brands most known for leaving a tingling sensation.

Tongue sticking out with injury
Parents are being warned about the dangers of sour lollies as they can burn through the tongue causing injury. Source: Facebook

"Sour candy packaging often stipulates that children under 4 shouldn’t eat the sweets and that consuming multiple lollies quickly can cause 'temporary irritation to sensitive tongues and mouths'," CPR Kids wrote online.

"We don't want to spoil the fun, but it is important that parents and carers are aware of the potential for burns caused by sour lollies."

It's not the first time a child has experienced a painful reaction to the popular confectionary which is widely available across Australia and other parts of the world.

In 2018, a grandmother from California, USA, warned parents against them after her grandson ended up with a hole in his tongue.

"Please do not give these to your children," she wrote on Facebook.

Warheads extreme sour lollies and TNT mega sour spray
Sour lollies, including Warheads and TNT products, are extremely acidic with dentists warning they could cause serious damage. Source: Google Images

Last year, a little girl from Melbourne experienced the same thing and ended up with severe chemical burns on her tongue.

Willow, four, ate roughly 10 Warhead lollies which caused the skin on her tongue to peel off leaving behind a large hole, Nine News reported.

Willow's mum Kirsty was completely unaware of the danger posed by the popular lollies and admitted she'd "never seen this before."

Experts warn against sour lollies

While many sour lollies do come with a warning on the packaging, some dentists warn against them entirely.

"Sour lollies can be very dangerous due to the high level of acid or PH which can cause chemical burns," Jonathon Teoh, a Victoria-based dentist told Nine News.

According to CHOICE, a neutral pH is 7 and the lower the number, the more acidic a product is

Dr Mikaela Chinotti from the Australian Dental Association told Yahoo News Australia that sour lollies typically range from approximately pH3 to pH1.

"As a comparison, vinegar has a pH of 3 while stomach acid has a pH of 1," Dr Chinotti said.

"Sucking on lollies with these low pH levels, without moving them around the mouth, can cause a chemical reaction creating a ‘burn’ on the soft tissues of the mouth that the sucked lolly has stayed in contact with."

For example, if the lollie is left to sit on the centre of the tongue and sucked on, the burn will affect the surface covering the tongue.

Willow showing damage on tongue caused by warheads
Willow, four, had around 10 Sour Warheads and ended up with a hole on her tongue. Source: Facebook/Kidspot

Dr Chinotti warned that all sweets, including lollies, should be consumed in moderation.

However extra care should be taken with sour lollies, particularly for young children who may not have the ability to move the lollie around the mouth.

"The greatest damage can be done with frequent exposure to the teeth and prolonged exposure to the soft tissues, such as the tongue or cheeks," she warned.

Dr Chinotti also said not to brush your teeth straight after consuming these lollies as the mouth needs time to get back to a pH closer to 7.

"Brushing teeth in a mouth that has just been exposed to a very low pH can increase the risk of wear from the bristles contacting the teeth," she said.

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