Baby Ate Styrofoam

Baby Ate Styrofoam


It’s a parent’s worst nightmare when their child ingests something harmful or poisonous. Unfortunately, accidents happen and sometimes small children may eat something they shouldn’t.

One such danger is expanded polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam. Styrofoam cups, packing peanuts, and other items made of this material can pose an extremely dangerous choking hazard to toddlers who love to put things in their mouths.

Ingesting even a small piece of Styrofoam can cause serious harm to a child’s body, and parents should seek immediate medical help if they suspect their child has eaten or swallowed any.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the risks of Styrofoam ingestion in babies and toddlers, the symptoms to look out for, and what parents should do in case of an emergency.

The Health Risks of Babies Eating Styrofoam and When to Call Poison Control

Eating styrofoam can pose health risks, especially for children and toddlers who may love to play with packing peanuts, styrofoam cups, or other objects made of expanded polystyrene. When ingested, small pieces of styrofoam can get stuck in the throat or cause choking hazards. If consumed, larger amounts of styrofoam can lead to abdominal pain and other symptoms.

Ingesting styrofoam can be extremely dangerous, and parents should seek medical help if their child has swallowed styrofoam. Family physicians or poison control centers can determine if further treatment or a visit to the emergency room is necessary. X-rays may be necessary to determine if large pieces of styrofoam are still in the body.

Styrofoam is not food and should not be eaten. While small amounts of exposure may not be harmful, larger amounts or prolonged exposure to styrofoam can lead to toxic chemicals and harmful substances being released, posing a risk of poisoning.

In short, it is important to keep styrofoam away from small children and toddlers as they may be tempted to put it in their mouths. If ingested, parents should seek medical help immediately.


How to Prevent Your Baby from Eating Styrofoam | Safety Tips for Parents

Styrofoam, also known as expanded polystyrene, can be extremely dangerous if ingested, especially for small children and babies. Here are some safety tips for parents to prevent their babies from eating Styrofoam:

  1. Keep Styrofoam cups, packing peanuts, and other items made of Styrofoam out of reach of small children and babies.
  2. If your child ingests Styrofoam, do not induce vomiting or give them any first aid treatment without consulting poison control or seeking medical help.
  3. Look out for symptoms like abdominal pain, choking, or difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
  4. If you suspect that your child has ingested a large amount of Styrofoam, seek medical attention immediately. Large pieces of Styrofoam can cause choking or become stuck in the intestines.
  5. Teach your child not to chew or swallow Styrofoam, and keep toys and other items made of Styrofoam away from them.
  6. If your child has accidentally swallowed a button battery or any other harmful chemical, seek medical attention immediately.
  7. Remember that even small amounts of ingested Styrofoam can pose a risk to your child’s health, so it’s important to keep it away from them.

In case of an emergency, call poison control or take your child to the nearest emergency room. It’s also a good idea to talk to your family physician about any concerns you may have regarding your child’s safety around Styrofoam or other harmful substances.



If a baby has eaten Styrofoam, it is important to seek medical help immediately. Styrofoam is made of expanded polystyrene and is extremely dangerous when ingested. Babies and small children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of Styrofoam, which can cause choking or blockages in the digestive system.

Symptoms such as abdominal pain and difficulty breathing may indicate that the Styrofoam is stuck in the baby’s throat or intestines. In some cases, the baby may need to undergo an x-ray or other medical tests to determine the location and size of the Styrofoam in the body.

Parents should not try to induce vomiting or provide any first aid treatment without consulting with medical professionals or poison control. In some cases, small pieces of Styrofoam may pass through the baby’s digestive system on their own, but large amounts or large pieces of Styrofoam can cause serious harm or even death.

It is important for parents to keep Styrofoam cups, packing peanuts, and other Styrofoam products out of the reach of babies and toddlers, who may love to chew on or play with these items. If a baby has swallowed a key fob or button battery, it is also important to seek emergency room medical help immediately.

In general, parents should be aware of the choking hazards posed by small objects and substances in the house, including toys, balloons, and chemicals. Swallowing or ingesting harmful substances can lead to poisoning or other serious health concerns, so parents should take steps to keep these items out of their child’s mouths.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it is essential to be aware of the potential hazards that certain household items can pose to small children and toddlers. Materials such as styrofoam cups and expanded polystyrene packaging peanuts can be extremely dangerous if ingested, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain and requiring medical help.

Button batteries, which can be found in key fobs and toys, also pose a choking hazard and can cause serious harm if swallowed.

Parents should be vigilant and seek medical attention if their child has ingested a harmful substance, as quick first-aid treatment can be critical in preventing serious consequences. It is important to keep these items out of reach of children, as they can be attracted to small pieces and may put them in their mouths.

Overall, proper caution and awareness can prevent accidental ingestion and poisoning in children, ensuring their safety and well-being.



Can I eat food that was microwaved in Styrofoam?

Styrofoam can release chemicals into your food. Therefore It is generally not recommended to eat food that was microwaved in it. It is best to transfer the food to a microwave-safe container before heating.

is styrofoam the same as expanded polystyrene ?

Yes, Styrofoam is a brand name for expanded polystyrene, so they are essentially the same material.

How long does it take for a Styrofoam cup to decompose?

It can take hundreds of years to decompose Styrofoam cups in the environment, contributing to pollution and harm to wildlife.

Will stomach acid dissolve Styrofoam?

No, Stomach acid cannot dissolve Styrofoam, but it can break down the material into smaller pieces that can be absorbed by the body. Ingesting Styrofoam can cause gastrointestinal issues and potentially lead to blockages.

Is styrofoam toxic to humans ?

Styrofoam is not toxic to humans in small amounts, but exposure to large amounts can be harmful. The production and disposal of Styrofoam can also have negative environmental impacts. It is best to avoid using or consuming Styrofoam whenever possible.



This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.