Help! My Son Ate Hydrocortisone Cream!

By Shannon Gosney
In Blogging Randomness
February 15, 2010
41 Comments
5007 Views

February 2010 a 2 Help! My Son Ate Hydrocortisone Cream!

In our house, we have Desitin and Hydrocortisone Cream, both of which are kept in the “diaper basket.”  My almost 2 year old is also learning to brush his teeth – with the fruity Oral-B toothpaste – ya know with bears and Thomas the Train? I think he sucks more of it than he actually gets on his teeth, unless I’m brushing them!

The other night, I had just finished changing dirty diapers and stepped away to properly dispose of the diapers in the diaper champ.  I left the diaper basket on the floor, making a bee line straight to the trash and then the sink to wash my hands.  When I returned, I found my almost 2 year old son with white stuff all over his hands and face, on the rug, and making this fake coughing noise – like he was trying to clear his throat.

I immediately panicked and thought…”Oh no!  The desitin!”  In the grasp of his small hands was not a tube of desitin, but a tube of hydrocortisone cream, which was still open and squirting out of the tube in his hands.  I took the tube away from him and told him to say “aww” – looking into his mouth.  I’m not quite sure how I would have attempted to get the white stuff out of his mouth if it were in there, but I told him to open his mouth anyways.  I wiped his hands and face with a wipe (this gets the oily residue off really well) and then briefly wiped up the carpet.

I picked up the phone and dialed poison control – the 2nd easiest number in the world to remember – 1-800-222-1222.  I told the woman on the other end what happened and she seemed quite calm about it.  I was seeking her help for fear my toddler ate Hydrocortisone Cream.

Woman:  How much was in the tube?

Me:  It’s a 2 oz tube.

Woman: What percentage was it?  Was their anything else in it, like pain relievers?

Me: 2% Hydrocortisone Cream with Aloe Vera

Woman: How much do you think he had?  A teaspoon maybe?

Me:  Maybe that or less.

Woman:  He should be fine.  There may be vomitting if he ate a lot of it, but it sounds like he didn’t ingest too much so he should be fine.  He could eat an ounce of it and still be fine.

Me:  Wow!  Thank goodness it wasn’t an ounce!

I thought a squirt or two was scary!  I couldn’t imagine how I would be feeling if he ate 1/2 the tube!  She said I could give him some milk and that might help a little bit, but otherwise he should be fine.

Thank goodness for Poison Control!  You’ve helped this mommy once again!

I was not compensated for writing this post.  This comes from my own experience as a mother of boys.  All opinions are 100% mine!

About Has 4221 Posts

Shannon Gosney is the author of The Mommy-Files, a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. With 3 active boys, Shannon loves living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

41 Responses to “Help! My Son Ate Hydrocortisone Cream!”

  1. Caryn B says:

    My son ate a Tums once…..sigh….

  2. pixie13 says:

    I’ve made that phone call. In my case it was the liquid in those glo-sticks & the child was eight, but it’s still a pretty panic-inducing thing. I’m glad your son is OK.

  3. Fortunately I haven’t had to make that call yet but I’m sure that day will come. Thanks for the reminder that I need to memorize that number!

  4. Noreen says:

    I had to call them in Oct. My daughter ate un-cooked pumpkin seeds. I had no idea if that was bad or not so I called. I was told that actually some people use them to treat worms. The only worry would be if the pumpkin was still stuck to it and it had spoiled. Luckily I had washed them really well so everything was fine.
    I have the number on my fridge with our address, #, cell #s and doctor info

  5. ReggieMann says:

    My sister caught my 2 year old niece eating Surf powder detergent on Saturday. Poison Control told her detergent is nasty and once kids get a taste of it, they don’t put any more in their mouth.

  6. Lori Z. says:

    What a rascal! I’m so glad he’s ok!

    My son likes to put things in his mouth. We had an abdominal x-ray at 20 months. The tech said it looked like the tip of a pen and was metallic, for two days we had to give him enemas. What was it? A mass of pomegranate seeds.

  7. Oh my goodness! I know what fear you must have felt, as I’ve had to call them twice – once for each child. I programmed the number into my cell phone in case I panic and can’t remember! Thank goodness your boy is ok.

  8. Badger Momma says:

    My oldest decided she’d get into the fridge and drink some of her amoxicillin. Not much thankfully. I think the poison control center people are used to all sorts of strange calls. :)

    Did you ask your son how it tasted? Bet he’ll spit it out next time if he thinks it’s supposed to be toothpaste and it’s not.

  9. Kayla says:

    Oh dear lord, that had to be a scary moment >.<
    Thank god for those people who are put here to help in these situations!

  10. Lauralee Hensley says:

    My niece and nephew once drank their mom’s perfume. Perfume can actually be bad if the alcohol content in it’s too high. It actually kinda burned the inside of their cheeks, and one of the children actually aspired a little into their lungs causing a mild pneumonia.
    Perfume should be kept out of the reach of kids, who would have thought they’d drink it.

  11. Lauralee Hensley says:

    I meant to type aspirated not aspired above.
    Hey, maybe I can’t type because I drank prefume and got a buzz off it.
    Nay, just kidding.

  12. The Gosfam says:

    I don’t know how I missed this post earlier. I am glad he is okay. My daughter got into nail polish remover and I was scared. I thought she drank most of the bottle, but she really had spilled it on the floor. Love poison control.

  13. Thank goodness for poison control! What would we do without them. I had to call once because one of my boys sprayed perfume in his eyes and drank some of it. The only worry was the alcohol content in the perfume and the burn in his eyes. He had actually spilled most of it on his shirt and did not drink much, but I did have to take him to have his eyes flushed out.
    It’s so much fun having boys, isn’t it???

  14. My daughter drank a bit of shampoo last week.
    No side affect at all, I thought at least she’d be passing bubbles…LOL
    Kids, what they won’t try!

    Glad to hear he’s OK!

  15. Wanda says:

    You poor girl, you must have been so scared! But remember, the reason there are poison control centers everywhere is that this sort of thing HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! It’s what kids do, just about all of ‘em! And it’s why kids are born to younger women, your hearts are stronger and your legs can run faster to the phone! I’m very glad it turned out to be no biggie, and that the kiddie is fine. But how’s the Mom?

  16. I, too, am a big fan of the Poison Control hotline and have had to call them at least 4 times in our live… being due with ornery dude #3… ha ha… I’m sure I’ll tack on another call or two to their magic line! My son ate a plant leaf (had to see if it was poisonous), some medicine, a ball bearing … and I forget what else…. everytime it was just fine and they always called back the next day to make sure he was okay. I can’t thank them enough for the peace of mind they give us moms. :) Glad everything is going to be a-okay!

  17. SheilaBee says:

    The only time I had to call poision control was when me almost 4 yr old daughter brushed her teeth with Preperation H.She sneaked in the bathroom while I was making dinner and grabbed it instead of the toothpaste. I freaked out.Now it is funny but I really did not think so at the time. She was fine just had a numb mouth for a feww hours. Its just part of motherhood.

  18. Mrika says:

    Well, my 5 year old son just sprayed some Men’s Cologne in his mouth, he was supposed to nap and he wanted to nap in my room for some reason, which is a first and i said it’s ok you can nap in my room this time, so i walked in there after 5 minutes to make sure he’s sleeping and sure enough, as i opened the door he ran to the bathroom saying “mommy, it burns, it’s burning my tongue” i freaked out of course, didn’t know what he put in his mouth then he showed me the bottle he sprayed, i made him drink a lot of water, a few cups, brushed his teeth to wash his mouth and made him pee twice hopefully it flushed out, then i got on the computer to search and see what do i need to do next, i found your story here and reminded me of the Poison Control number :) i’m sooooooooo happy and Thank You, they said he should be fine, just make him eat something so his stomach doesn’t hurt and it’s not empty and drink a lot of water.
    My son sure gives me a lot of heart attack’s but he has never put anything in his mouth, it’s the first time i called Poison Control and what a peace of mind they give you :), soo glad they are there for us to help our children :)

    I hope your child is alright and every other child :)

  19. Tricia Murray says:

    I’m glad for your post! Our daughter just ate hydrocortisone cream…not that much, but I’m relieved to see she should be okay (and that she’s not the only one! :-) ). thanks!

  20. Mary says:

    Thanks for this post. My 5 year old just brought Hydrocortizone cream to me and asked if it was toothpaste! He had brushed his teeth with it and it “didn’t taste good”. Good to know that he only had maybe a pea size on the toothbrush and some was in his mouth but most was spit on his shirt. I showed him the tooth on the Crest and told him to look for the tooth before putting it on his toothbrush.

  21. mommalovesmee says:

    Even my 15 months old love playing with this tube but dont keep it where he can reach….

  22. Sandy7 says:

    Just called poison control myself about my 1 yr old getting the cap of the hydrocortisone cream in her mouth. They also said not to worry this is something our body makes and even if she did injest a moderate amout she would be ok.

  23. Kathleen says:

    I am not 100% sure but am suspecting my 7 yr old brushed her teeth w/hydrocrotizone cream since the cap was off next to the tube of toothpaste. After reading all the comments I am relieved she will live another day! I have since moved the cream and am waiting for her to come home from school to have a discussion on when to ask about weither or not something is safe to use.

  24. irasistible says:

    I had just dashed into the bathroom to get my 2 yr old son when i came back and found my 6 month old daughter with an open bottle of 2.5% hydrocortisone cream in her hand and i really freaked out! I opened her mouth and tasted it and it definitely was oily and tasted like the cream. thank god for your post, atleast im sure she didnt ingest an ounce. gosh, i almost had a haert attack!

  25. MAMA6BOYS says:

    Yeah….um….Poison Control is my best friend. I call them pretty regularly & they’re like, “Oh. Hi, Heather. What did your boys ingest THIS time?” OK. Not really. But close. Oh….HI! :D Nice to meet you. Super cute blog!!! I’m a new follower! I love meeting moms of boys!!! You are welcome stop by my blog & say hi! BTW………..my boys made a “magic potion” involving desitin, toothpaste & shampoo. And drank it. They lived. :)

  26. Jen says:

    Thank you so much for yor post!!! I had put hydrocortizone cream on the bathroom counter after putting it on my oldest daughter. My youngest daughter (5 years old) later brushed her teeth in my bathroom. Just a few minutes ago, I walked into my bathroom and say the toothpaste next to the cortizone cream and freaked out. I ran into her room (after she has been asleep for hours)…did my best to wake her with both the toothpaste and cortizone creams in my hand and tried to get her to point to the once that she used…but she was too asleep. Thank you so much for your post….I can now sleep tonight and it taught me a HUGE lesson!

  27. Abiola, Nigeria says:

    Hello All,

    Google ‘led’ me here. Walked into the sitting room now to meet my 31mths old son with the tube of Candiderm cream (steroid+antibiotic+antifungal)…
    It’s 8pm here and I’m already panicking..asked him whether he put it in his mouth and he said yes..found some on his mouth and cloth..

    Help..no emergency number to call as i am in Nigeria..

    • Angela says:

      31 month old? LOL. Wait till he turns 156 months old. Those are the worst years. But it all gets a little easier when they turn 216 year old and you get them off to college and have the house to yourself. Unless he’s like one of my uncles and never moves out and is still living with my 1080 month old grandmother! Crazy or what!

  28. I called Poison Control once when my son (he had just turned 3) ate an adult stool softener pill. The woman was trying to keep her giggles under wraps and was as cool as a cucumber. Those operators must get all sorts of wacky moms (like me) calling!

  29. Batman says:

    I once ate 3% Hydrocortisone cream. It was the smallest amount, just out of my fingernail. And to think I was scared ;)

  30. Sarah L says:

    I have a friend who works for poison control. She has lots of stories to tell (anonymously, of course – privacy is paramount).

  31. Gwen says:

    Mine grabbed my vagisil cream when I went to pee real quick. (1% hydrocortisone, ate like 1/8th of an oubce maybe) Called poison control right off the bat of course. Thank god for that service! He hasn’t even vomited or anything, he’s totally fine, but if I didn’t have them to tell me he was okay I probably would have called an ambulance over nothing!!! Being a mom is scary stuff!

  32. Lindsay says:

    Oh my goodness, I am so glad I just read this! My daughter just did the same exact thing! Same cream too! I feel better now.

  33. Jen says:

    My son ate Premarin (estrogen cream) and poison control said he would be fine… Just tonight ate 1% hydrocortisone cream poison control said he would be fine,,, his two yr old twin sister ate a pack of extra gum out of my purse… Poison control said shed would be fine… This is all within one week… Lord help me… And thank goodness for poison control, especially with 2 1/2 yr old twins…. Aaaarrrghhh!!!

  34. Cheryl says:

    Thank you! I’m so glad you you have this site! It really helped!

  35. Angela says:

    My one year old just did this! Thanks for the website.

  36. Daniela says:

    My 20 month old just did this. I have poison ivy and my 3 year old can open any door/ child safety lock / window. We locks on our kid safety gates. Still can’t keep him out. He let his brother in. The 20 month old and gave him the tube of 1% cortizone cream. And my little one ate him. It’s a 1 ounce tube and not even half was gone. I also called poison control and they said he will be fine. Just an upset stomach. I called my hubby and yelled at him that we need better locks on everything. I don’t ow how to stop my 3 year old from being an escape artist.

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