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What to Do if Your Baby Ate Naphthalene Balls: A Comprehensive Guide

For many parents, the prospect of their baby ingesting naphthalene balls, also known as mothballs, is a frightening one. The ingestion of naphthalene balls can be potentially dangerous. If your baby has ingested these substances, immediate medical attention is necessary. In this guide, we will explore what naphthalene balls are, why they are harmful, and the necessary steps to take if your baby has accidentally consumed them.

Naphthalene: What You Need to Know

What Are Naphthalene Balls and How Poisonous Are They?

Naphthalene balls, also known as mothballs, contain a substance known as naphthalene. They are highly toxic if ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, posing a significant risk to infants and young children who might accidentally consume them.

The Dangers of Naphthalene Ingestion

Why are Naphthalene Balls Harmful?

Naphthalene is a toxic substance that can cause a variety of symptoms if ingested, ranging from nausea and vomiting to severe abdominal pain. In severe cases, naphthalene ingestion can lead to serious complications like hemolytic anemia or damage to the liver or kidneys.

Immediate Actions to Take

What Should I Do if My Baby Ate Naphthalene Balls?

If you suspect that your baby has ingested naphthalene balls, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Do not try to induce vomiting. Instead, contact Poison Control or take your baby to the emergency department right away.

Symptoms to Watch For

What are the Symptoms of Naphthalene Poisoning?

If your baby has ingested naphthalene, they may exhibit symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, restlessness, and pallor. In severe cases, they may have seizures or go into a coma. Any of these symptoms should be taken very seriously.

Preventive Measures

How to Prevent Your Baby from Eating Naphthalene Balls

Prevention is key when it comes to the safety of your baby. Always store naphthalene balls and other chemicals out of reach of children. Consider baby-proofing your home to minimize the risk of accidental ingestion.

Understanding Naphthalene Poisoning

What Happens If a Baby Eats Naphthalene Balls?

If a baby ingests naphthalene balls, they might experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in severe cases, seizures or even coma. Immediate medical attention is required in such situations.

What Are the Symptoms of Naphthalene Exposure?

Aside from the above-mentioned symptoms, naphthalene exposure can also cause restlessness, pallor, and in some cases, anemia and liver or kidney damage. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the amount ingested.

What Are the Stages of Poisoning?

Naphthalene poisoning, like other poisonings, typically proceeds in stages. Initial symptoms include nausea and vomiting, followed by more severe symptoms like seizures or unconsciousness if the poisoning is not promptly treated.

Response and Treatment

What is the First Aid for Naphthalene Poisoning?

If your baby has ingested naphthalene, immediately contact Poison Control or take your child to the emergency department. Do not try to induce vomiting. The healthcare team will take necessary actions based on the severity of the situation.

What is the Antidote for Naphthalene Balls?

There is no specific antidote for naphthalene poisoning. Treatment typically involves supportive care, which may include intravenous fluids, oxygen, and in some cases, blood transfusions.

Is Naphthalene Poisoning Curable?

With prompt and appropriate treatment, the effects of naphthalene poisoning can be managed effectively. However, the prognosis largely depends on the amount ingested and the promptness of the treatment received.

How Do You Test for Naphthalene?

If naphthalene poisoning is suspected, healthcare professionals might perform a series of tests, including blood and urine tests, to confirm the diagnosis and assess the severity of the poisoning.

Real-Life Experiences: Parents’ Testimonials

“The scariest moment of my life was when I found my toddler had opened a box of mothballs. I had no idea what to do. I immediately took her to the emergency room. Luckily, she hadn’t swallowed any, but it was a wake-up call about the importance of keeping such items out of reach.” – Samantha, mother of two

“When our little one ingested a naphthalene ball, it was the most terrifying experience. We called Poison Control immediately and were guided on what to do. The swift response helped manage the situation effectively. I urge all parents to keep these balls far away from your little ones.” – Robert, father of a 3-year-old

“I remember feeling a sense of panic when I found my son had eaten a mothball. We rushed him to the ER where they treated him promptly. He had to stay overnight for observation, but thankfully, he’s fine now. This incident made me realize how important it is to baby-proof our home.” – Mary, mother of a 2-year-old

“When my daughter had swallowed a naphthalene ball, it was a very traumatic experience. We were clueless and terrified, but the hospital staff were incredible in providing her with the care she needed. Every parent needs to know the risks of such household items and how to respond.” – Lucas, father of two Your Partner in Ensuring a Safe Sleep Environment

At, we understand the importance of creating a safe and nurturing environment for your baby to sleep and grow. While naphthalene balls are sometimes used to protect clothing in storage, it’s critical to keep them well out of reach of curious little hands and mouths. can provide guidance and resources on how to create a safe sleep environment for your baby, from choosing the right crib and mattress to tips on baby-proofing your home. Ensuring your child’s safety is a significant step towards better sleep and overall well-being.


If you’re ever faced with a situation where your baby has eaten naphthalene balls, remember not to panic, seek immediate medical attention, and never try to induce vomiting. Your swift action and the medical team’s expertise can effectively manage such situations.