There are a number of hair coloring options on the market, ranging from conventional hair dye to “child-friendly” chalk. These products can be temporary or permanent. Because coloring hair in vibrant reds, purples, and blues is a trend among teens and tweens, kids may want to give these products a try.
Temporary hair dyes, waxes, or chalks – like those used during Halloween – can cause minor irritation. If swallowed, they can cause nausea and vomiting.
Conventional hair dye colors the hair using a combination of ingredients such as ammonia or ethanolamines, hydrogen peroxide, and p-phenylenediamine – all of which can have toxic symptoms if swallowed. These chemicals can also cause respiratory issues and skin irritation. Call the Missouri Poison Center right away for help on how to sort through the ingredients and determine the next steps to take.
If you notice that your child has ingested a hair coloring product, it is important not to panic. Take the product away from the child and wipe their mouth out with a soft wet cloth. You may give them some water to drink to get the taste out of their mouth. Do not try to induce vomiting.
After you have removed your child from the situation, immediately call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. Treatment recommendations are often determined by the amount ingested. The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies and questions and our team of medical professionals will help to walk you through the next steps.