Help! My Toddler Just Ate Tums! What Should I Do?

Hi, dear panicked-parent,

Tums are not considered toxic for kids and are even taken as calcium supplements along with being an antacid by adults. If your little one has popped in a few of those, give them a few sips of water, and they should be fine. However, your toddler might be constipated or have a belly ache. In case you don’t know the number of tums your toddler has taken, then call Poison Control or take him to the nearest ER. Your toddler might experience symptoms like bloating, constipation. Still, in case you’re unsure, or your little one is showing severe symptoms like severe bellyache, vomiting, or even fever, call Poison Control or rush to the ER.

What are tums?

Well, tums are candy-looking medication that is great for treating symptoms like heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, or acid reflux. It works as an antacid by lowering the amount of acid in the stomach.

Tums come in a chewable form which adults need to chew before swallowing. Adults and children above the age of 12 are recommended to chew 2-4 tablets or as the doctor recommends.

On their official website, you’ll find that the main active ingredient in Tums is calcium carbonate, which is naturally mined from limestone and works quickly to calm down heartburn.

Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is caused when acid is backed up in the stomach and flows back in the esophagus, a tube connecting the throat and the stomach and through- which food contents pass through and enters the stomach, causing painful heartburn.

The calcium carbonate in tums quickly neutralizes the stomach acid, giving relief to the adult.

What should I do if my toddler has eaten tums accidentally?

A toddler boy is sticking his tongue out and showing that he has a pill-shaped medicine in his mouth.

Well, tums basically look like candies in a bottle, and the moment they come to know that their parent has hidden a few candies from them- they’re definitely going to sneak in a few of them to know how it tastes.

If your toddler has swallowed a few tums, first of all, what you need to do is- Don’t Panic. Call Poison Control; they’re likely to say that it’s fine if they’ve eaten a few of them.

Possible symptoms your toddler might experience are bloating, constipation or even a belly ache. In addition, you’ll need to look out for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.

If any of these happen, rush your toddler to the nearest ER. If you live far from an ER, call Poison Control again, and they’ll tell you what to do next and will even arrange transport for you.

Also, if you’re not sure how many tums your little one has eaten, or you’re not comfortable with just sitting around waiting for any symptoms to occur, call the pediatrician or take your toddler to the nearest hospital. But, most likely, your toddler is going to be fine.

A friend of mine told me once how her toddler, who was 2 years and 6 months, ate a handful of tums.

She panicked and called Poison Control while her husband was getting dressed to rush to the ER, but she was told by Poison Control that it was fine and told not to worry about it.

That toddler is now almost 6 and is completely fine.

FAQs

Can my 2-year-old toddler take antacids?

You need to consult the pediatrician before giving your toddler any medication. Most over-the-counter antacids are not recommended for children under the age of 2.

What foods cause acid reflux in toddlers?

Foods that can cause acid reflux and should be avoided for toddlers are carbonated drinks, fatty and spicy foods, mustard and vinegar, acidic foods such as pickles, peppermint.

What can you give a toddler for an upset stomach?

Encourage your little one to drink water and withhold solids for a little while, especially if she’s throwing up. After a while, try offering mild foods like crackers, applesauce, dry toast, or even plain rice.

Takeaway

Tums are basically calcium carbonate, so your toddler might be completely fine and might not even have any symptoms as such. On the other hand, they might have constipation or slight tummy ache, which is not worrisome and will resolve itself. Do offer your little one water often, as it might help with constipation.

But in case he has severe symptoms, help is just a call away.

Located in India and a mother to a joyfully mischievous son, Kelin is the wife of the world’s most patient man and a busy homemaker. When she’s not busy cooking and running after her kid,  you can find her in a corner reading, or penning down words on her laptop. She believes the world will always try to instil ‘mom guilt’ in new mothers, but she goes by the maxim ‘a mother knows best'.

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