8 on Your Side: Child nearly dies from drinking eye drops - 8 News NOW

8 on Your Side: Child nearly dies from drinking eye drops

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LAS VEGAS - Most toddlers like Jeremiah Girma are full of life. He loves to dance, sing and play. Recently, however, this vibrant boy fell silent and almost died, because he got his hands on a bottle of Visine eye drops.

According to his parents, Nia and Justice, Jeremiah grabbed the bottle from the bathroom counter shortly after Justice used it. Jeremiah drank the eye solution.

“I just had a gut feeling. I know it has chemicals in it, and I figured let's call to be safe,” said Justice.

A quick call to poison control changed everything. “The poison control agent told me to take him to the hospital immediately,” Nia said.

By the time she hung up the phone, Jeremiah’s condition changed. “Five minutes later is when he kind of faded out on me, so I was trying to make him talk to me and say my name, and he can barely say, ‘Mommy,’” she said.

She raced to Spring Valley Hospital. By the time she walked through the doors of the emergency room, Jeremiah was unconscious. Doctors immediately worked to revive him.

“There were like five or six doctors around him, and she was on her knees praying, and he wasn't responding,” Justice said.

If you ingest Visine, it immediately begins to constrict your blood vessels. In adults, drinking Visine can cause nausea and vomiting. In a child who weighs less than 50 pounds, the solution can stop blood from flowing through the veins. It can lead to a coma and, eventually, death.

Most people would not know that. The label on the bottle merely instructs users to seek medical attention or contact poison control. Visine does not use safety caps, so any small child can open a bottle with ease and suck on it like a pacifier.

“There should be a skull and bones on this thing, because it can kill,” said Justice.

Doctors told Nia and Justice if Jeremiah arrived at the hospital five minutes later, he would have died.

Thankfully, doctors and nurses at Spring Valley Hospital saved Jeremiah. The precious toddler is once again living a normal, healthy life.

8 on Your Side reached out to Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Visine. As a result of this incident and 8 on Your Side’s inquiries, Visine will change its packaging to make it child resistant.

The company has not set a timetable for when the new packaging will hit stores.

If you have a problem you want investigated, contact 8 on Your Side at 702-650-1907.

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