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Chest Rubs and Vapouriser Fluids

The Victorian Poisons Information Centre does not recommend the use of chest rubs or vapouriser or inhalant fluids to treat coughs and colds, or for any other purpose.

Chest rubs and vapouriser fluids do not have any proven benefit. They can make you feel as though your airways are clearing, but this is because camphor, menthol or eucalyptus oil make your nasal passages more sensitive to cold air. Chest rubs and vapouriser fluids do not have a decongestant effect and they do not make it easier to breathe.

The camphor and eucalyptus oil in chest rubs and vapouriser fluids are potentially poisonous and can make children very sick if they swallow them. Each year the Victorian Poisons Information Centre sends a number of children to hospital after they have swallowed chest rub or vapouriser fluid.

If you think your child has swallowed some chest rub or vapouriser fluid contact the Victorian Poisons Information Centre immediately.

Be safe and do not have chest rubs or vapouriser fluid in the house.

For further information about chest rubs and vapouriser fluids, or other poisons, ring the Victorian Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.