Nail Polish

If you have any questions or concerns about a poisoning, call your local poison control center or 1-800-222-1222. Calls to the Poison Control Center at CHOP are always free, confidential and staff by pharmacists and nurse experts.

Quick take on ingesting nail polish

Toxicity? Minimal to none

Most common symptoms if swallowed? Upset stomach

When to seek immediate help and call 911? Choking or difficulty breathing.

Has your child swallowed nail polish?

Thankfully, most child-related ingestions of nail polish do not require medical attention and can be safely managed at home. Nail polish ingredients are considered non-toxic in small amounts, but large ingestions may be concerning. Please call the Poison Control Center for help evaluating your unique situation. Small ingestions of nail polish may produce mild irritation to the mouth, throat and upset stomach (cramping, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea), but these symptoms should resolve on their own.  

Four common methods of nail polish exposure

In mouth or eaten? Give water and small snacks to help reduce taste and upset stomach. If the child is choking or has difficulty breathing, seek immediate help and call 911.

On skin? Wash with soap and water. If skin irritation persists, call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

In eyes? Flush eyes with room temperature water for at least 15 minutes and call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Inhaled? Remove the child from exposure and get fresh air. If coughing and headache persists, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Nail polish exposure prevention tips

  • Remember that nail polish can be very attractive to small children, so store it thoughtfully: up, away, and out of sight.

Ingredients we're looking at

  • Butyl acetate
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Coloring agents

Next Steps
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What to Expect When You Call

When you call the Poison Control Center, we will ask you a series of questions. Here's what we'll need to know so we can help.

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