Vaseline® | Illinois Poison Center 
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My Child Ate Vaseline®

Mar 29, 2020
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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.  


Toxicity Level:  Minimally toxic in small amounts such as a taste or a lick 


Also Known As:  Petroleum jelly, Petrolatum 


Toxicity:  Vaseline® is considered to be minimally toxic when ingested.  It can cause a loose or soft stool.


Possible Symptoms of Overdose/Poisoning:  Vaseline® is a thick substance and as a result, it can be a choking hazard.  Otherwise, it is only expected to cause a loose or soft stool.

You should be concerned if your child experiences these symptoms:  If your child experiences an episode of choking or coughing on Vaseline®, even briefly, call your local Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.  Because Vaseline® is an oily substance, it can cause damage to the lungs if it goes down the wrong pipe into the lungs (aspirated).


What You Should Do:  If your child is not having any symptoms and can swallow easily, give a few sips of water and observe for the symptoms described above.  If a large amount of Vaseline® has been ingested, or the child develops coughing, vomiting or diarrhea, call 1-800-222-1222. 



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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