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Mom's Post Shows How Dangerous It Can Be to Let Kids Eat Off the Floor

Photograph by Milly Smith

As anyone with a baby or young toddler knows, little kids love to put everything in their mouths—and that can include items they pick up off the floor. Most of the time, whatever they find will be harmless, but that's not always the case. Milly Smith, a mom from the U.K., recently posted a warning to parents on her Instagram page after her son brought her a small pill that he had found on the floor.

"This highlights how damn important it is to make sure you teach your children to NOT eat things off the floor," Smith writes in her post.

The mom of one and body-positivity advocate says that she has taught her young son, Eli, to never put anything he finds on the floor into his mouth, and to come and show her what it is instead.

"He ALWAYS has to double-check and we reinforce it constantly," she explains. Recently, Smith's teachings were put to the test when Eli brought her a small pill he had found that turned out to be a Levothyroxine tablet, a medication that she takes to treat her thyroid disorder. Smith says that had Eli eaten the pill, the effects would have been dangerous enough to “put him in intensive care."

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This highlights how damn important it is to make sure you teach your children to NOT eat things off the floor and to show them to you immediately. Eli has been taught he doesn't put anything in his mouth from the floor even if he knows it's a sweet. He ALWAYS has to double check and we reinforce it constantly. - This is a levothyroxine tablet for a thyroid disorder I have and strong enough to put Eli in intensive care. I am the most careful person with my tablets but even the most careful person in the world will have human error which is why it's not enough to just keep your meds out of reach. - Eli picked this up off the kitchen floor and immediately came to me to show me. If he'd have swallowed this I'd be in a&e right now or worse. TEACH CHILDREN NOT TO PUT STUFF IN THEIR MOUTHS FROM THE FLOOR. We taught Eli from a very very young age and so far we've never had a problem, fingers crossed. Even more important in a household that has a lot of medication.

Smith’s message has been well received by many moms who commented, thanking her and sharing their own experiences.

“Yes!!! My kids constantly ask 'is this medicine or a candy?' because we’ve talked about it so much!!" Lanawr commented on the post.

Missfield999 said that her daughter once ate a tablet off of the floor:

“My daughter got a hold of a tablet when she was 14 months old," she wrote. "It could have been an antidepressant or cocodamol but, thankfully, [blood tests] revealed it was only a small amount of [acetaminophen]. That was very scary, though.”

According to a study by Safe Kids Worldwide, nearly 60,000 children in the U.S. are accidentally poisoned by medicines each year, with toddlers accounting for seven out of 10 cases.

Kids can find medications in various locations, such as purses, diaper bags, on counters and, as Smith points out in her post, on the floor.

Storing and locking up medication in a safe and out-of-reach location, not referring to medication as candy, closing child-resistant caps the correct way every time, and teaching kids not to eat items they find on the floor are all ways to help protect kids from these kinds of accidents.

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