Here at the IPC, we get a lot of interesting calls. The first time I tell someone what I do for a living, one of the usual questions I get is, “what was the craziest case you’ve ever had?” It is hard to choose just one, but what sticks in my memory most are the really, really gross ones.
A choice selection of these cases is listed below. They just go to show that you should never be embarrassed to call the specialists at the IPC—we have heard it ALL. You won’t shock us, and as you can see, it is even pretty hard to gross us out.
- A mother called, concerned that her child had ingested some roach spray. She had seen a roach crawling up the wall and sprayed it with bug spray to kill it. The child picked up the roach as it fell to the ground and ate it.
- A man called to ask whether the ‘blue stuff’ in a porta potty is toxic. Here is a paraphrase of the ensuing conversation:
IPC, “what happened?”
Caller, “well, I dropped by cell phone in the porta potty and went after it”
IPC, “were you able to wash your hands afterwards?”
Caller, “yes, but I may have bitten my nails…”
- A family member had used an enema to treat constipation, and the 2 year old child drank some of the backwashed fluid from the enema bag.
- A toddler found a used condom in a parking lot and put it in his mouth.
- Adults and teenagers will eat some pretty gross things and all it takes is 3 little words, “I dare you”. Some of the classics:
A man chewed up and swallowed a live lizard for $60
A young adult drank an entire bottle of Dave’s Insanity hot sauce for $25
An adult ingested 2 worms for a pack of smokes
An 11 year old drank water out of a gas station toilet (for free)
- A caller took a beer out of the minibar in his hotel room. After the first swig, he quickly realized that it was urine. A previous guest had drank the beer, then filled it up with urine and put it back so they would not be charged. (I did not ask him how he knew what urine tasted like…)
- A father called because after feeding his kids dinner, he found a charred rat corpse in the oven where the meal had been cooked.
- A toddler was found sucking on a used tampon pulled out of the garbage can.
- A caller had been eating an energy bar while driving. When she was stopped at a stop light, she looked down and noticed there were live worms inside the energy bar.
- Last, but certainly not least, is the ingestion of poop. It may come as a surprise, but kids are always eating poop. Their own poop, the cat’s poop, the dog’s poop, bird poop. It’s so common, we wrote an entire blog post about it!
As you can see, the IPC can help if anything has been ingested, no matter how weird or gross. Save 1-800-222-1222 in your cell phone, you never know when you might need us!
Be sure to check out My Child Ate Resource Library in case your child ingests something gross or potentially harmful.