Julie Weber Is This A Poison

Toxicity:  Eating an insect is expected to be minimally toxic.

Expected symptoms:  There can be an initial irritation in the mouth, and rarely some insects can cause stomach upset and vomiting.

What to do:  Wipe out or rinse mouth thoroughly, remove any pieces to reduce the amount swallowed into the stomach.  After cleaning the mouth, give the child some water to drink.


Quick Facts about eating insects:

Sometimes we have callers asking, “my child ate a bug, is that harmful?” Keep reading to learn more.

Children eating an insect may be alarming to parents; however, some insects are eaten in other countries as a source of protein in their normal diet. Once the insect is in the stomach, it is digested just as any food would be. The protein from a swallowed insect is used as nutrition by our bodies, while the hard outer shell will likely passes through the intestines into the stool. Some insects have a noxious (or harmful) liquid that is released as part of their defense mechanism which can cause irritation to the mouth or stomach when chewed on or swallowed.

Most times when children eat an insect, it is just a “taste test” with only a small amount actually reaching the stomach. When a dead insect is ingested, the caller may be concerned if an insecticide caused the death of the insect. If this is the case, the small/residue amount of the insecticide is NOT expected to result in any additional toxic symptoms.

If you find your child eating a bug, do not panic.  Take it away from them, wipe out the mouth with a soft, wet cloth and give them some water to drink.  If problems start or you have questions, call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies and questions.

**Note: Don’t forget, every case is different. To make sure you are getting the best information for your individual situation, click below to call or chat. It is fast, free, and confidential.