10 Dangerous Things Kids Eat That Won’t Kill Them

shutterstock_54218506As attentive and quick as I am, my toddler is like a mini ninja at stuffing small objects into his mouth and then clamping down so tight I need a flashlight, magnifying glass and the jaws of life to see what he’s chomping on. I’m learning that kids are sturdier than they look, but there are still things he gets a hold of that freak me out.

1.       Dirt.

The first time I found my kid with a brown streaked face that wasn’t from chocolate, I lost it. By the third time I swiped his mouth with a tissue and assured myself dirt’s got to have at least some vitamins and nutrients.

2.       Rocks. 

Apparently my little culinary savant thinks a dirt entree requires some texture. Thankfully he doesn’t have many teeth to chip.

3.       Hair.


His, mine, his brother’s, the cat’s- at least I’m raising a child who doesn’t discriminate.

4.       Stickers.


Found this out during a tantrum one day when he unhinged his jaw to scream in my face and I saw  the roof of his mouth had a star fish smiling back at me. It wasn’t even a scratch and sniff, so I can’t blame it on his taste buds. I have no clue how long he was storing it there, minutes, hours, days?  Are stickers like wine, does the flavor improve with age?

5.       Bath Water.

 Perhaps the lavender scent and warm temperature make it seem like a tasty and irresistible tea, or maybe the bubbles are just a delightful texture because no matter how many times I scream “No” or offer a bath toy instead he keeps going back for more. Maybe tonight I’ll cave and hand him a biscuit for dipping.

6.       Poop.

At first I was ashamed, but after talking to Bethany Ramos, I realize this isn’t all that uncommon. Ok, fine, I’ll be honest- it was his brother’s poop. But still, if you are lucky enough to have a kid that doesn’t fall into this category, don’t judge us -it happens.

7.       Hand sanitizer.

He rarely lets me brush his teeth anyway, so on the bright side maybe this acted like mouthwash. I actually called Poison Control for this and they told me he would be fine and to give him lots of milk and crackers. Since milk is liquid gold to my child, pretty sure I’ve only encouraged him to do this again. And again.

8.       Broccoli.

Despite many battles regarding his opinion to the contrary, last night my son ingested a vegetable (covered in dressing) and survived- barely.

9.       The cap off a tube of lip balm.

My Momcore uniform of a tank top and yoga pants does not have pockets, and this has been a dry winter, so it seemed inevitable that this would happen. The silver lining is that this incident gave me the excuse I needed to splurge on that egg shaped lip balm everyone else has. I told my husband it was for the safety of the kids, but secretly I like to feel trendy without having to put on one of those ridiculous cropped tops.

10.   Whatever that thing was off the floor.

 Quick as I am, sometimes I just don’t get there fast enough to prey open the iron jaws. Then it’s a watch and wait situation, which is entertaining to him, because he gets my undivided attention and entertaining to me because we don’t have cable.

(Image:  Syda Productions/shutterstock)

You can reach this post's author, Megan Zander, on twitter.
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    • Bethany Ramos

      Love!!!! Hahaha so maybe I caught my toddler with poop smeared around his mouth, so what? I don’t know if all kids are like this, but my toddler has a huge thing for poop and is constantly pulling stuff out of his diaper in the early morning before we wake him up. Terribleness.

      • jane

        I say this with nothing but love, but that is fucking disgusting. How do you survive?

      • Bethany Ramos

        IDK!! It has happened so many times that I have fooled myself into believing it is normal… LOL

      • http://www.thislemonyogurt.com/ Amanda

        My oldest did that. For MONTHS. It… was a dark time for me.

        She did eventually grow out of it.

      • Alanna Jorgensen

        My daughter too for awhile. It was awful and made my head want to explode.

      • SA

        OMG. I am so glad mine is scared of her own poop! I would die.

      • Valerie
      • Alicia Kiner

        And i thought finger painting was bad

      • Rachel Sea

        I would gaff tape his clothes shut.

      • Natasha B

        I, I just can’t. The neighbors kid was like that, and we were all playing outside and she reached in her diaper, swiped a piece, and stuck it in her mouth. Nope. The only one who has a thing for poopy diapers around here is the dog, and that’s gross enough.

      • EX

        I could have these conversations about the disgusting/disturbing/amusing/ridiculously cute things toddlers do all day long. Endless entertainment.

      • EX

        I could have these conversations about the disgusting/disturbing/amusing/ridiculously cute things toddlers do all day long. Endless entertainment.

      • koolchicken

        I don’t think I could live with the horror. I’m just glad my son shares my poop aversion. He’s been #2 potty trained since 9 months because he refused to use a diaper and it was becoming a health concern. And the few times he’s been sick and had an accident he stares at me and points to the toilet. He NEEDS to see me flush it so he knows it’s not in the house. Little freak.

    • staferny

      My nephew got a taste for the dogs food. I’m pretty sure that he’s ingested more Purina that the pooch has at this point, not even the stuff in the dish, this kid is like a heat seeking missile for the 40lb bags. Turn your back for 5 minutes and he’s sitting in the middle of a dog food explosion with no pants on (he hates pants) chewing away. I have since lovingly referred to him as Mowgli.

      • Natasha B

        My kids loved dog food. I still catch the 20mo sneaking a piece occasionally. I think she figures she shares all her snacks with the dog, so he should share with her, right? Protein.

    • jane

      Don’t worry, I checked with the doctor – even if they pee in the bathwater, they’d have to drink a whole lot of it to get sick. You’re welcome.

      • EX

        That’s good to know. Bath water is second only to milk in the list of my child’s favorite drinks.

      • koolchicken

        My kid will happily drink bath water (or it’s even grosser cousin, pool water). But if I give him real, clean, filtered, or bottled water he won’t drink it. He won’t even expend the energy to spit it out. He just opens his mouth and tilts his head forward so it’s all dumps out.

      • rrlo


      • koolchicken

        He likes to think so. Me, not so much.

      • Alanna Jorgensen

        I’m laughing so hard I can’t even drink my own water. Kids are assholes.

      • koolchicken

        Good to know. My husband is a doc and said it was fine too but I didn’t believe him. He sometimes just says crap to get me to stop worrying (not bloody likely). But it’s okay, my kid likes to grab the rinse cup and drink only from that. So as long as I keep it away from him I know he won’t drink. And as my Mum said “At least he’s not a complete heathen”. So thanks Mum, you always know how to put my fears to bed…

    • SA

      Kid likes to stand up, pee in the bath, and then help herself to generous sips of the bathwater after that. Cat food is a delicacy (as is Butt Paste). The tips off of markers – YUM!! (When we go out to eat we always freak the hostess out by screaming NO all terrified like when they hand her crayons). Sand, shoveled in her mouth non-stop. Pickles, rolled in dirt. Oh yeah.

      • koolchicken

        My kid has a crayon fetish too. Apparently green and orange taste the best across all brands. But whatever they put into reds leaves a lot to be desired.

    • kay

      There’s a Dave Chappelle quote about how dog food tastes just like it smells… delicious!

      In our house the same seems to be true of cat food, given how often I find myself attempting to pick it out of the baby’s mouth.

    • Jennifer Freeman

      Eating dirt is a bad, bad thing. Some kid featured on Monsters Inside Me contracted a parasite which was basically worms in his brain. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/baylisascaris/

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        That is so NOT delicious

      • Jennifer Freeman

        Nope, not even a tiny bit. Worms growing in anything is pretty much my worst nightmare/paranoia. One dude on MIM had worms growing in his eyeball. Eff that.

      • EX

        I’ll hang on to the words “human infections are rare” from that link and continue to not freak out about my kids eating dirt.

      • Jennifer Freeman

        I seriously need to stop watching MIM because I’ve discovered like 300 totally rare but super horrible ways my kids can become ill.

      • EX

        Those shows freak me out. I’m a worrier as it is. I don’t need new exotic illnesses and parasites to worry about!

      • Jennifer Freeman

        I am a super worrier too but I can’t seem to stop watching these creepy shows. IRL paranoia fodder? Some kid about 6 months ago got flesh-eating bacteria from one of the running trails that I use all the time. Now I am totally paranoid about falling and scraping myself while I am on the trail.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      Honestly the first couple of years with a baby sound like trying to train a puppy. Don’t put that in your mouth don’t shit on the floor, sleep at a reasonable hour, stop howling over random stuff, no that stranger isn’t your friend, I don’t care if it”s shiny don’t run off in the other direction.


      • pixie

        I can’t decide which is cuter, the baby or the puppy!

      • EmmaFromÉire

        This is my favourite gif, the puppy wink is my favourite thing!

      • Tinyfaeri

        Basically, yes, it is. Babies are slightly less likely to chew on your arm/hip/head, and people frown on you teaching them to pee in the backyard. Other than that, they have a lot in common.

      • rrlo

        Also puppies seem to get trained a lot faster than the kids. I never raised a dog – so my experience is from looking at other people’s puppies.

      • Tinyfaeri

        Word. But to be fair, puppies come out with brains that are a lot more formed than human babies. Our noggins are so big in relation to our bodies that if our brains were as far along as those of other mammals, our heads would be too big to fit through the birth canal.

      • Linzon

        Parenthood is my training for when we eventually do get a puppy.

      • Ptownsteveschick

        I am totally fine with training my daughter like a puppy. People sometimes give us weird looks when we play fetch at the park, but shit, she can’t catch yet!

      • Tinyfaeri

        Kids love fetch! Laser pointers work, too – some toddlers chase them just like cats do!

      • EX

        That pretty much covers it.

      • Natasha B

        It pretty much is. My lil sis and her permanent bf soon to be fiancé got a puppy, for practice. It’s adorbs.

    • keelhaulrose

      My younger daughter will sift through the popcorn to eat the unpopped kernels. I keep a meat tenderizer nearby in case I miss one so I can smash it so she won’t use her teeth.

      • Natasha B

        Confession: I have a thing for the unpopped kernels, too.

    • shorty_RN

      Lol that gif for #6 cannot be unseen. There’s gonna be shimmying gorillas in my dreams tonight.

    • Valerie

      I have to say- I am a big fan of the dancing gorilla titties.

    • KarenMS

      I discovered on Wednesday that the Scrubbing Bubbles toilet gel inserts are non-toxic. Poison control assured me they were just an irritant. Just an fyi…

      • Erin Murphy

        The little packets that they put in shoe boxes and other packaging (silica) isn’t toxic either, it’s just a choking hazard.

    • Ife

      Whenever I get a bit pearl-clutchy that my kids drink bath water, I try to think back and remember the fact that I often played a game during my own childhood where I poured a box of nerds in the sink, filled the whole deal with water and sucked them up one by one with a straw. And this was in the 80′s, pre green, “natural” cleaners. So, whatever. They want to drink bath water? Fuckit, have at it, kids. I’m grosser than you.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I’m really hungry right now and I admit that sounds vaguely delicious :(

      • Ife

        In my college years I updated the game slightly and replaced the dirty sink with a bottle of half-frozen, slushy Zima. WIN.

    • Williwaw

      My kid likes crayons, cat food, and bath water. Also, any water from a dog or cat’s water dish. And once he chewed the plastic coating off an old toy and ingested some of it – I had to quickly use the Internet to find out what that toy was named, and what it was coated with….and then I called Poison Control and learned what he ate was harmless. (I bet the people running the Poison Control hotlines must get some interesting calls [apart from the really scary ones where some toddler actually did ingest something really dangerous]).

      • rrlo

        My friend’s kid recently ate baby oil and vicks vapour rub – both of which, apparently, are okay in moderation.

      • Joye77

        My guy doesn’t eat crayons yet but loves dried smelly wax. My husband pops the dried wax out of the warmer and sets it on the table and Joshua Is like a magnet to it. Not sure if I am more irritated at the kid or the husband.

    • G.S.

      My baby cousin has this weird fixation on the rubber cap for my computer’s memory stick. I think it’s because she’s teething, or maybe she just really likes the gummy texture, but every time she and my laptop are in the same room (mostly when I’m playing her songs from Youtube), I’m constantly playing keepaway with either that or the keyboard.

      She’s also tried to eat itsy-bitsy pieces of cellophane-like plastic, before. And dog food, and crumbs off the floor . . .

    • Natasha B

      Nerf darts and crayons are about as risky as it gets around here. But I have to keep the gummy vitamins locked up because they will mcgiver that thing open and eat them all. Not that that has ever happened or anything…..

      • Alanna Jorgensen

        My daughter has fiber gummies for constipation. That bottle is above MY head because God help us if she ever ate the whole bottle of THOSE.

    • koolchicken

      Hate to break it to you but my son is laying here on my lap right now gnawing on my Eos. He loves the stupid things and at the ripe old age of 10 months figured out how to unscrew them so I have to watch him like a hawk otherwise he eats them. He is not the only baby I know like this. It’s like they contain baby magnets or something.

      But hey once you’ve used it all you can super glue it shut and give it to him as a toy. See, now you’re frugal cause you’re recycling!

      • Megan Zander

        Hey, at least it’s natural right? Love the superglue idea!

      • koolchicken

        And gluten free. Chicken Little and I have Celiac disease. So while I’d prefer he eat none, it could be worse. But yeah, super glue. I do it to all our empty lip balms (he’s not a brand snob). E6000 glue works great and I can toss it in the dishwasher! Hooray for free toys and no work!

    • itpainsme2say

      Is there anyway I can unread this. I have always had an issue with stickers and hair clumps don’t get me started. I’m big on a little dirt won’t hurt but when I see a baby take biscuit along the floor (sawdust everywhere), through the soot in the fireplaces like it was special seasoning, and then offer it to the dog who of course licked it. Lets just say my family still talks about how loudly I yelled enough and did what we all wanted to by chucking it into the fire. I hate my cousin sometimes.

    • rrlo

      Oh God, I really hope the poop eating thing is not the norm.

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    • Joye77

      My first kid I was all ” Get that out of you mouth!” while I wrestle him to the ground to get the item out of his mouth. By the 3rd kid, or maybe because I am old now, I just assess it, “Eh, it’s small enough, he won’t choke, whatever it is.”

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      My daughter ate carpet fuzz like it was candy. Drove me nuts.

    • scooby23

      I ate ant poison when I was about 4. Not only that, I also proudly announced over at my aunt’s house to everyone. *hangs head in shame*

    • Cassi Osborn

      Mine loves to suck the juice out of the baby wipes. Drives me insane! Also, old cookies or crackers that she’s hidden are her favorite snack. She’ll take that over dinner any day.

    • Joyalicious

      Metallic stickers can actually pose a danger if ingested. Otherwise, eat away, tiny monsters!


    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      That pig is just. too. cute. (And its a calico!)

    • natalie

      Oh man, I remember when we were little (3-5 years old, probably some of my first memories) my best friend and I would play “grocery store” with plants, sand, rocks, and dirt in our backyard. We ALWAYS ate all the “food” we bought at the grocery store. Until one day, we both ate prickly grass (I have no idea what this is actually called, but it’s a weed with prickles/jaggers all over it) and it put cuts all through our mouths and throats. I will honestly never forget how bad that hurt. We quickly stopped playing that game.