The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about accidental ingestion by children of over-the-counter eye drops used to relieve redness and nasal decongestant sprays can result in serious and life-threatening adverse events. This is due to some recent cases.
The eye drops and nasal sprays that have been involved in the cases of accidental ingestion contain the active ingredients tetrahydrozoline, oxymetazoline, or naphazoline.
The cases of accidental ingestion reviewed by FDA occurred in children 5 years of age and younger. No deaths were reported; however, serious events requiring hospitalization such as nausea, vomiting, lethargy, tachycardia, decreased respiration, bradycardia, hypotension, hypertension, sedation, somnolence, mydriasis, stupor, hypothermia, drooling, and coma have occurred. Ingestion of only a small amount (1-2 mL; for reference, there are 5 mL in a teaspoon) of the eye drops or nasal spray can lead to serious adverse events in young children.
For more details, see FDA MeWatch.