Child Ate Silica Gel | Illinois Poison Center 
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My Child Ate Silica Gel

Nov 25, 2020
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Silica Gel                                                



This information applies to children who have unintentionally swallowed a small amount. If the child swallowed more than one mouthful, is having symptoms, or if you are not positive of the exact substance or amount swallowed, call your local Poison Center immediately 1-800-222-1222 to speak to a nurse, pharmacist or physician for recommendations specific to your situation.  The call is free and confidential.


silica gel

  • Toxicity Level:  Minimally toxic 


  • Also Known As:  Silicic acid, H2SiO3, desiccant


  • What It Is:  Silica gel comes in the form of clear round balls in a paper or cloth packet.  The packets are often found in new store-bought products (such as shoes, backpacks and handbags).  The purpose of the silica gel  packet is to absorb water and maintain dryness in these products.


  • Toxicity:  Silica gel is chemically inert and is considered to be non-toxic.  The concern with this substances it that it can be a choking hazard (this is why these packets often say ‘DO NOT EAT’ on them). If your child is choking on silica gel, call 911 immediately.


  • Possible Symptoms Of Overdose/Poisoning:  None 


  • What You Should Do:  Give the child a fews sips of water. 

NOTE:  If your child has gotten this substance in their eyes, please view our Eye Exposure information.



If you have any further questions about this substance, or if your child is experiencing any symptoms, call the poison center experts who are available 24/7 via the free, confidential helpline: 1-800-222-1222.   Don’t guess, be sure!




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The IPC is the oldest poison center in the U.S. and serves one of the largest populations of all poison centers in the nation (covers all 102 Illinois counties with a total estimated population of nearly 12.9 million).  The IPC:


  • Provides a variety of free education and presentation materials that can be shared with your community (stickers, magnets, posters, children’s activity sheets, handouts, etc.).  Prior to placing your first order, if you haven’t already done so, please complete the free online Poison Prevention Education Course and Resource Center (PPERC) .  Eligible persons: anyone age 13 years or older living/working in Illinois; general public and healthcare providers alike.



  • Saves lives and improves patient care by working hand-in-hand with hospitals in Illinois to provide expert medical advice to doctors, nurses and paramedics treating patients exposed to potentially harmful substances. In addition, the IPC saves the people of Illinois $60 million annually by resolving 90 percent of poisoning cases from the general public over the telephone, preventing unnecessary 911 calls and visits to a doctor or hospital.  Click here for more information.