When Crazy Things Happen with Glue

Jane Hawes

This month, our curious kid has managed to Krazy-Glue his fingers together. Before we panic, though, we're going to ask an expert - Dr. Stephen Hersey, a pediatrician at Nationwide Children's Hospital - for his take on the situation.

Here's what Dr. Hersey had to say:

"Cyanoacrylate products, known by brand names such as Krazy Glue and Super Glue, can easily get into and onto the hands of children. If a child accidentally or intentionally glues his or her fingers together, home management is usually all that is required.

"The manufacturers of this product recommend acetone-based solvents, like nail polish remover, to aid with dissolving the glue. Your typical over-the-counter nail polish remover is usually effective. Apply it liberally to the glued body surfaces and allow the glue to soften. Do not put any type of solvent on or near the eyes or other mucous membranes as this can be harmful to such sensitive areas.

"In addition, using an oil-based product can help in the removal of Krazy Glue accidents. Mineral oil, vegetable oil and petroleum jelly have all proven to be effective. These can all be used safely in sensitive-skin areas and around the eyes.

"Simple prolonged soaking in warm water also may result in sufficient softening of the adhesive to separate tissue surfaces. However, this may take several hours to accomplish. Avoid using extremely hot water which can burn the skin.

"Lastly, emergency medical intervention is generally not necessary as the affected surfaces will usually separate on their own within several days."

Dr. Hersey pointed, however, that these products would qualify as poison if ingested; for that, all families should have the poison emergency hotline number programmed into their phones: 1-800-222-1222. This hotline will connect you to the closest poison center.

For the hearing impaired, the Central Ohio Poison Center can be directly reached at this TTY number: 1-866-688-0088.