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Should I Call Poison Control If My Kid Drank This?

Kids will go out of their way to ingest the weirdest stuff. Often times the same child who is reluctant to try anything other than milk or juice will throw back a shot of laundry detergent like it’s nobody’s business. This can force parents to make rapid decisions about seeking medical help. What things are dangerous, what can be ignored, and should I call poison control if my kid drank this? These are the questions that float to mind when you’re holding the empty bottle of cough syrup.

And even when you take the precaution of storing everything out of reach, sometimes your child manages to tear into a bottle of mouthwash the second you get home from the store. Also: sometimes children are absolute geniuses at removing so-called childproof packaging. Where do they get so much grip strength?

If you have no time to spare, then contact the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222 at any time. But if you don’t have an active emergency, just a curious kid who gets into everything, then read on to learn about which substances are the most dangerous. You may never look at that scented bottle of hand sanitizer the same way again.

1. Laundry Detergent

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If your kid drinks some liquid laundry detergent, you probably don't need to panic. According to the National Capital Poison Center (NCPC), ingestion of detergents may irritate your kid's mouth, skin, or eyes, but it is not likely to cause serious harm. You can call Poison Control just to be on the safe side, and you'll probably need to rinse the affected area in running water for a while. The laundry pods, however, have been associated with fatality, as explained by the NCPC, as they can cause choking and breathing difficulties. It's important to keep these packets away from your young kids.

2. Liquid Medications

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If your kid knocks back a bottle of liquid medicine, check the ingredients, as acetaminophen overdose is a major concern. As explained on Healthline, a "child who is 5 years old or younger has taken at least 91 milligrams of acetaminophen per pound of body weight within eight hours" may need immediate emergency care. Fortunately, most overdose cases can be successfully treated.

3. Hand Sanitizer

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The scented varieties can smell like delicious fruits or candy, so it's not completely surprising if your kid decides to take a swig. Although a tiny lick of sanitizer probably won't hurt, if your kid ingests too much of it she may be at risk for alcohol poisoning, as explained by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. This is definitely a good reason to call poison control.

4. Rubbing Alcohol

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According to Fairview Health Services, even ingesting a small amount of rubbing alcohol could cause a reaction in your kid, and he may need to be under a physician's care until recovery. Immediate treatment is required.

5. Nail Polish Remover

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Acetone is no joke. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, ingesting products that contain acetone, such as nail polish remover, can cause anything from difficulty breathing to a coma. Therefore it's a good idea to call Poison Control and seek out medical help immediately.

6. Dishwashing Liquid

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According to Healthline, soap poisoning may cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, or swelling in the throat. Calling Poison Control is a good call.  

7. Paint

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Even craft supplies are not safe from your curious kiddo's grasp. Most paints aren't wildly dangerous, but if your kid swallows some oil-based paint, she may have an upset stomach or choking problems, according to the National Capital Poison Center. Call the hotline just to be on the safe side.