Mom Sends Grave Warning About Dangers of Baby Oil After Son Sent to ER

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Baby oil. It has a multitude of uses, and is a staple in many households. For something with “baby” in the name, though, it can actually be very dangerous.

JennaJoy Ingraham learned this the hard way in November and could have lost her son in the process. She’s now taken to Facebook to warn other parents, and anyone who has babies or baby oil, to beware of the toxic stuff.

“Our 18 month old-Graysen, grabbed a bottle of baby oil off the counter and drank a little bit around 10 yesterday morning while we were getting ready for church,” she wrote on Nov. 26.

“Casey caught him quickly and took it away. Gray made funny “yucky” faces because of how it tasted and we thought that was the worst that happened.”

Soon after, though, their little boy started acting strangely.

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“A couple minutes later, he started acting lethargic,” she continued. “Falling asleep sitting up and not answering anyone. Basically awake but non responsive with the slowest blinks I’ve ever seen.”

“When we picked him up, it was just dead weight and he kept trying to fall asleep in our arms. We called the on call nurse only because of how he was acting. Had he not acted any differently, we wouldn’t have thought anything of him drinking a little baby oil.”

The nurse told them to call Poison Control, so they did. After some questions, the worried parents were urged to take Graysen to the ER — not for just ingesting the stuff, but because it sounded like he may have gotten some in his lungs.

“They mentioned most parents don’t realize how dangerous baby oil can be if inhaled,” Ingraham wrote. “Poison Control told us they would call the hospital to let them know what was coming and that we needed to take him now. Cue my intense panic. Casey took Gray and I stayed home with Bry.”

“The doctor told Case they needed to stay there until around 3 since that is when symptoms would start if anything major was wrong. If so, they wanted him to go to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital for the night. They did X-rays on his little lungs and told Case it’s the equivalent to you or I drinking gasoline.”

Most containers of baby oil have child-proof lids, and this is the reason why. Poison Control’s website ranks baby oil with lighter fluid.

“Baby oil, mineral oil, and household lubricating oil are hydrocarbons,” the website reads. “These slippery liquids can easily go down the wrong way, into the lungs, when someone swallows them. Other hydrocarbons include lamp oil, torch fuel, lighter fluid, gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, heating oil, hair oil, and some kinds of furniture polish.”

Did you know that baby oil was this dangerous?
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“Poison Control often receives calls about toddlers who drank baby oil or another type of hydrocarbon. Each child has to be observed very carefully for signs of aspiration, that is, hydrocarbons going down into their lungs.”

“Coughing, choking, and fever are common signs of hydrocarbon aspiration. Lung irritation and pneumonia, even death, can result. Symptoms can happen quickly – within a couple of hours or even sooner. If there are no symptoms in 24 hours, the child should remain fine.”

Thankfully, Graysen turned out to be okay, and the Ingrahams now know about this potentially lethal substance that was hiding in plain sight in their own home. Did you know that baby oil was this dangerous?

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking