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Nail Polish

Low Risk

Also known as:

gel nail polish nail lacquer top coat

Open red nail polish sitting on a white table.
Possible Symptoms
  • Minor mouth and throat irritation
  • minor stomach upset
  • eye irritation
  • skin irritation
What to Do
  1. Wipe or rinse out the mouth.
  2. Give a serving size of water to drink.
  3. Rinse any exposed skin with lukewarm water and soap.
  4. Call 1-800-222-1222 for additional instructions.
If Exposed to Eyes
  1. Start rinsing eye(s) with lukewarm water.
  2. Call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for further recommendations.

Additional Information

Note: If your child has gotten nail polish into their eyes, call the Missouri Poison Center now for help on how to rinse the eyes.

This information applies to base coat, top coat and nail polishes which typically consist of a solvent, a plasticizer with cellulose, resins and dye.  This information does not include nail polish removers or products used for artificial nails such as acrylic primer, powder and liquid, acrylic nail removers and fungicides.

Children are often attracted to the bright colors and interesting containers of nail polish. The brush applicator and the liquid are very attractive and tempting.  In an attempt to imitate what they see, sometimes a child will get a little mixed up and apply the brush applicator to their lips, using it more like a lip stick.  One taste of the liquid, is usually all it takes to put an end to the experimenting.  For those who try to drink directly from the bottle, the small opening and the thickness of the polish, limit the amount of polish that gets into their mouths.

If you find your child with opened nail polish and some on their lips and in the mouth, do not panic.  Take the nail polish away from him or her, wipe off then wash with soap and water any visible product from their hands.  Do not use harsh chemicals or scrubbing to remove dried nail polish from the skin.

If your child has tasted nail polish, wipe out their mouth with a wet wash cloth and give them a drink of water to wash the nail polish down to the stomach. 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.

Take The Missouri Poison Center With You

Emergencies don’t wait for you, so you shouldn’t have to wait to call for help. Get the Missouri Poison Center app with poison information and a link to the Poison Help Line. It is just a click away during the most stressful moments. Our registered nurses and pharmacists are here 24/7/365 days a year to help guide you through poison exposures and overdose emergencies.

Don’t wait. Download now.

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