Quick Facts about feces:
“My child ate poop!” is a common call for the Missouri Poison Center. At some point, most toddlers eat their own or someone else’s feces (poop), and having pets in the home increases the chances. When parents call the poison center to report this, they are often very upset, and rightfully so. After all, we know good handwashing after using the bathroom is important to avoid becoming sick, and now you have found your toddler actually eating poop. Our first words to a parent are those of understanding and reassurance. Children typically only swallow a small amount due to its foul taste, and it is not considered toxic. In rare situations, symptoms similar to food poisoning can develop. If your child develops a fever, persistent nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, call their pediatrician for a medical evaluation. However, in the vast majority of cases no symptoms develop.
If you find your child eating feces, do not panic. Remove any feces from them, wipe out the mouth with a soft, wet cloth and give them some water to drink. Be sure to thoroughly wash their hands using a generous lather of soap and water, and use a gentle nail brush to get any fecal matter from under the fingernails. If problems start or you have questions call the Missouri Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222. The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies and questions.