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“My Child Ate…Poop!”

Posted: September 20th, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Welcome to the IPC’s second installment of the “my child ate…” blog series.  Last week Mike explored the dangers of prescription medications, and this week I am going to talk about stuff kids eat that is really, really gross.   Like poop, for example.  Do kids really eat poop, you may ask?  They sure do.  All shapes, sizes and species.  I can even give you a ranking of the most common poop calls we get:

1.  Human

Most of the time, for babies, this is in the form of their own poop.  It is the most common poop call because, well… it’s the most accessible—it comes right out of them! The two most frequent scenarios here are either they wrestle off their diaper during a nap, or reach their hand down yonder while having their diaper changed.  Another human feces related call, involves a kiddo who drinks water out of the toilet. A potential concern here is not only the fecal bacteria in the toilet, but also any cleansers, deodorizers and the like that may be in the toilet.

2.   Cat

Two words: litter box.  To small children, it’s like a big stinky indoor sandbox…w th little brown toys!  And we all know what small children do with toys—put them in their mouths.

3.  Dog

Less common than feline feces, which is often found indoors, is dog poop.  Not the best way to find out that your neighbor does not clean up after his pup.

4. Miscellaneous (bird, ferret, rabbit, mouse, livestock, etc)

If it breathes, eats and poops, I guarantee that a  child in Illinois has probably tasted its feces before.

The good news about a small poop ingestion, is that they are rarely a problem (if the child is healthy). You should still call the IPC of course, just to be sure!

Here are some other calls we’ve gotten about kids eating some pretty gross stuff:

  • A cockroach (live and wiggling)
  • Milk left out for weeks (bottle or sippy cup lost and forgotten under the bed or couch)
  • Used prophylactic (i.e.  condom)
  • A discarded (used) tampon
  • A Goldfish (alive)

As you have probably gathered by reading this, children will put just about anything into their mouths.  It is how they learn about their environment and they don’t know any better.   After one of these type of ingestions, no matter how gross the substance is, a parent’s first thought (after the OMG YUCK) is, ‘will this hurt my child?’ The IPC is always the right place to get that question answered.  The majority of pediatric accidental taste type ingestions we see here at IPC don’t result in major toxicity, however, that is certainly not universally the case.  You should never feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about calling, because we really have heard it all (as you can tell from today’s post!).  Don’t guess, be sure.  Call 1-800-222-1222 if your child eats any non-food substance (no matter how gross!). Don’t forget to check out the “My Child Ate…” resource center which gives toxicity level and treatment information for the most common substances/products ingested by children.

Next Tuesday we discuss the top ten things kids eat!

See you next week,


If you’re looking for more on poop, check out this video!

Here’s the complete series:

  1. “My Child Ate…Something Around the House!”
  2. “My Child Ate…Grandma’s Medicine”
  3. “My Child Ate… Nature!”
  4. “My Child Ate…!” Honorable Mentions

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Related posts:

  1. “My Child Ate…Grandma’s Medicine”
  2. Coming Soon to a Pharmacy Near You…
  3. “Ay, Ay…I Splashed_____in my Eye”
  4. 7am-8am (6 calls)
  5. Top 5 Things You Didn’t Think Could be Poisonous to Children

3 Comments on ““My Child Ate…Poop!””

  1. 1 The Daily Journal said at 2:16 pm on January 31st, 2013:

    […] The post that caught my attention was “My child ate… poop.” […]

  2. 2 Tiny Boss Eats His Own Poop – Been There, Done That | Tiny Boss Says said at 7:44 pm on July 25th, 2013:

    […] Illinois Poison Center even has a blog about the calls they get about children and infants eating poop, and ranks the type of poop in order of frequency of calls they […]

  3. 3 Chris Masten said at 10:54 am on July 6th, 2017:

    Grand kids visiting my 18 month old pulled off his diaper rub his poop all over himself and bed. Thank you for your knowledge in Poop helped me from further panicking. He seems to have no side effects so will keep watching him.
    Note gave him a cupcake with yellow and red icing his poop was so green took me a few mins to figure that one out.

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