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Victorian Poisons Information Centre

Camphor blocks and camphorated oil

The Victorian Poisons Information Centre does not recommend the use of camphor blocks or camphorated oil for any purpose.

Camphor blocks or camphorated oil do not have any proven benefit.

Do not:

  • pin a camphor block to a child's clothing
  • put a camphor block under a child's pillow
  • rub camphorated oil on a child's chest when they have a cough or cold.

There has been a report of a child dying after eating 1 gram of camphor. The average size camphor block (2.7 x 2.7 x 1 cm) weighs 7 grams. Camphorated oil contains 1 gram of camphor in 5 mL.

Ingestion of only a small part of a camphor block or 5 mL of camphorated oil is potentially fatal. Camphor in liquid form is rapidly absorbed. Seizures (fitting) can occur soon after eating camphor.

If you think your child has swallowed some camphor block or camphorated oil, ring the Poisons Information Centre immediately. Any child who has definitely swallowed a camphor block or camphorated oil needs immediate medical assessment.

Be safe. Do not keep camphor blocks or camphorated oil in the house and do not use them for any purpose.

For further information about camphor, or other poisons, call us on 13 11 26.