5 On Your Side

Cary mom calls for safer labels after son is accidentally poisoned

A Cary mom is calling for safer labels, tamper-proof packaging and warnings after her son ingested harmful chemicals, mistaking it for candy.

Posted Updated

By
Keely Arthur
, WRAL consumer reporter
CARY, N.C. — A Cary mom is calling for safer labels, tamper-proof packaging and warnings after her son ingested harmful chemicals, mistaking it for candy.

Conner Taylor rang in the New Year a few hours early on Dec. 31. He and his young cousins celebrated the start of 2023 at the age-appropriate time of 8 p.m. and finished the night with games and prizes.

“We were doing these games and earning prizes and one of our family members bought some Pop Rocks,” Taylor explained.

The 9-year-old grabbed a packet, but the Pop Rocks weren’t doing what they normally do.

Cary mom calls for safer labels after son is accidentally poisoned

“I ate it and got no flavor; they are supposed to pop in your mouth. When I didn’t get flavor, I just put more in my mouth and that’s when it started to burn,” he said.

Conner’s mother Laura Taylor noticed her son was in distress. When she took a close look at Conner’s candy wrapper, she realized it wasn’t candy at all.

Instead, Conner had eaten Lucky’s Mystical Dragon Flames, a chemical designed to change the color of fire.

The package for Lucky’s Mystical Dragon Flames is like Pop Rocks in size and shape and the contents inside are similar too. However, instead of sugar, Lucky’s Mystical Dragon Flames is made of dangerous chemicals.

Cary mom calls for safer labels after son is accidentally poisoned

“It contains chloride, polyvinyl and copper,” Laura Taylor explained. “We called Poison Control, and they immediately called a physician who consulted with toxicology.”

Taylor received an urgent call back from the toxicologist telling her to quickly get to the hospital.

Doctors admitted Connor to WakeMed Children’s hospital where he spent the night after lab results indicated he had been poisoned.

“The liver specific lab results were all elevated, so it showed that there was some toxicity in his body,” Laura said.

After a night in the hospital, Conner’s levels returned to normal, but Laura was left frustrated and concerned over what she believed was the toxic chemical’s kid-friendly packaging.

“It had a cartoon dragon blowing out flames, it’s called Lucky’s Mystical Dragon Flames. There was nothing alarming on the front package that would make a child or even in all fairness an adult say 'Woah, what is that.’ It doesn’t need to be alluring to children,” Laura said.

In fact, the adult who accidentally bought the Lucky’s Mystical Dragon Flames told Taylor that it was in a bin with the Pop Rocks candy at the store, and she never realized it was any different.

According to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, hazardous household products must have precautionary labeling to help consumer’s safely store and use products. It must also contain the words “danger, caution, or warning,” depending on the severity of the product.

In addition, it must also include the principal type of hazard the product presents. For example, “harmful if swallowed,” “causes burns,” etc.

Lucky’s Mystical Dragon Flames is sold on Amazon. The package sold there has a “harmful if swallowed” label on the front, but Conner’s chemical package did not. Only when you flip the package over do you see warnings like “caution, irritant and harmful if swallowed.”

The packaging has fooled others before. In 2018, Minnesota Poison Control put out a warning after several kids were sickened by the very same product. Laura Taylor says the time for change is now.

“I don’t want it to take a child dying from this for something to be done,” Taylor said.

5 On Your Side has reached out to manufacturer of Lucky’s Mystical Dragon Flames multiple times and has not heard back.

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