Minnesota Poison Control has issued a warning about the dangers of using Mystical Fire—a unique product used to create vibrantly colored flames in campfires—after receiving four separate complaints of toddler poisoning.
Jon Cole, the poison control center’s medical director, told Kare 11 News that the small packaging resembles Pop Rocks or other candy, which might be misleading to children. If ingested, the copper sulfate chemicals used to spark the colorful display can cause serious harm, including internal burns of the esophagus and intestines.
“It’s typically toddlers getting into open packages because they are just sort of born for mischief, they tend to put the world into their mouths,” Cole said. “Adults occasionally [mistake it] for other salt- or candy-based products. We’ve had people mix it up for Pop Rocks candy and also for tea.”
So, how do you know if your toddler has been inadvertently poisoned?
Cole said one way to know for sure is to pay attention to the "bathroom light show" that will most likely follow. If your child has bright blue or bright green vomit, matching the flame colors, contact poison control immediately.
Mark Phillips, president of Mystical Distributing, the parent company of Mystical Fire, stands behind his tamper-proof, clearly labeled product, stating, “A child will not open this package on their own, and I have no idea why somebody would put this product where someone could access it, because it’s thrown in the fire, not something to be left on the coffee table.”
In fact, the product label comes with several “keep out of reach of children” warnings.
Phillips said he has been selling Mystical Fire worldwide for nearly 17 years and, until now, was unaware of any severe problems with ingestion. Though he admitted to feeling bad that children were injured because of the product, he also said he cannot understand how something like this could have happened.
"There is some negligence or neglect on somebody’s part, why it got in the hands of the toddler,” he told Kare 11.
As far as grown-ups are concerned, Cole said Mystical Fire is a "fine product to use but should be treated with real caution and definitely never left open near children”—as described on both the front and back labels of the package. In other words, you can still colorize your 4th of July campfires this year (which, for the record, looks super cool), as long as you read the label, follow instructions and keep the product away from tiny hands.