Urine

Julie Weber Is This A Poison

Toxicity: Minimally toxic in small, unintentional ingestions.

Expected symptoms: None or only minor stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting if a larger amount was swallowed.

What to do: Rinse the mouth with water and spit out or wipe out the child’s mouth with a soft, wet cloth.  Wash exposed skin with soap and warm water. Give a serving of water to drink.

Quick Facts about urine:

Most of our poisoning questions about urine involve accidental ingestions by children. Sometimes when left unsupervised in the bathroom, children will play in the toilet and ingest taste amounts of urine. They have also been known to tear at their diaper and eat some of the enlarged polymer beads that are saturated with urine.  This is not toxic, but the beads can be a choking hazard to the child, and the small amounts of urine are not expected to cause any symptoms.  While this is unpleasant to think about, overall only minimal symptoms are expected from this misadventure.

In ancient folk medicine, it was thought there could be some health benefits to drinking urine, and this advice still comes up periodically on TV shows and internet forums. To be clear, there is no known health benefit from this practice. Drinking urine can introduce bacteria into your system which may cause stomach upset, nausea and vomiting.  Urine is made up of water and waste products that are intended to be eliminated from the body.  Ingesting urine re-introduce these waste products back into the body, putting stress on the kidneys and may ultimately lead to dehydration or possible kidney damage.

If you find your child ingesting urine do not panic.  Wipe out the mouth with a soft, wet cloth and give them some water to drink.  Wash any skin exposed to the urine with soap and water.  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.

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