Iowa parents are being warned to watch for a new fad among teenagers which can have a harmful impact. It’s called “beezin” and it involves using the brand-name Burt’s Bees mint lip balm in a place where the product wasn’t designed to go.
Tammy Noble is a registered nurse and spokeswoman for the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center. “Kids are applying a lip balm that contains peppermint oil and they’re applying it to their eyelids,” Noble says. “What they are thinking it’s doing is causing a drunken feeling, while other kids are claiming it helps them to stay awake.”
Noble says beezin is a risky thing to do. “The concern is that if it gets in the eye, it can be a strong irritant to the eye, so it’s going to really burn and sting like heck,” Noble says, “but also some of the problems that can be associated with the absorption of the peppermint oil.” There may also be a risk of causing a bacterial infection if the balm was also used on the lips.
Knowledge is power and Noble says she wants parents to know about this sort of oddball fad. “What I would recommend is, always be aware of what’s out there and what teens may be susceptible to trying,” Noble says, “and make sure you are talking with your kids to make sure they know the risks and the dangers of doing these types of things.” Another dangerous teen fad in recent years involves trying to eat a teaspoon full of cinnamon, which can result in a trip to the emergency room if the spice is inhaled into the lungs.
The hotline for the Sioux City-based Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center is 800-222-1222.