What to Do If Your Child Eat Drywall? [Explained!]

It’s every parent’s nightmare: you turn your back for one minute, and your child has put something they shouldn’t have in their mouth. In this case, let’s say it’s a piece of drywall you’ve left lying around because you still didn’t finish the new bedroom. Even though your first reaction would be to panic, which is understandable, it’s better to stay calm, assess the situation, and act accordingly.

Every child goes through a developmental stage known as oral exploration, during which they may chew on objects like drywall. However, the danger posed depends on the amount and type of drywall ingested.

Why Does My Child Eat Drywall?

Pica is a psychological eating disorder that may cause your child to crave and consume non-edible items, such as drywall, crayons, ice, clay, dirt, and hair. Understanding the causes of Pica can help you determine if your child is suffering from this condition.

Here are a few reasons why your child might have Pica and is eating drywall;

Development Issues:

Developmental issues, such as intellectual disabilities or autism, may lead to the development of Pica and drywall consumption.

Mental Health Problems:

Mental health problems, such as schizophrenia or obsessive-compulsive disorder, have also been observed in children with Pica.

Malnutrition or Hunger:

Malnutrition or hunger can also lead to cravings for non-edible items, particularly if your child is not receiving proper nutrients, such as zinc or iron.

Stress, Anxiety, and Depression:

Stress, anxiety, and depression are common triggers for Pica in children. If your child is seeking attention, has experienced abuse, or is facing other stressors, they may develop Pica and begin consuming non-edible items like drywall.

Can Eating Drywall Harm a Child?

Eating drywall made of gypsum and other materials is not poisonous, but it can lead to stomach distress and other digestive issues and make you sick. The real danger lies in the glass fiber in drywall, which can cause cuts in the digestive system and result in serious long-term gastrointestinal illnesses. These illnesses could prove fatal for your child.

If your child has ingested drywall, making them vomit could be dangerous. Instead, it is advisable to seek instructions from the poison control department. You could also bathe your child, offer them food or drink, and wait for them to vomit the piece themselves.

What To Do If A Child Eats Drywall?

If your child eats drywall, it can cause severe damage to their overall health, including respiratory issues and asthma. To take action, follow these steps:

  • First, remove any remaining drywall from your child’s mouth and check for any pieces stuck in their respiratory tract.
  • If your child’s eyes have gotten dust and have scratches on the eye surface, rinse with water and lightly rub the nose bridge to remove any remaining dust.
  • Next, call your area’s local poison control hotline and provide details to their representative. Follow their instructions.
  • If you cannot contact poison control and no drywall is stuck in your child’s respiratory tract, call the doctor for further instructions.
  • Depending on the doctor’s instructions, if you have time, you can bathe them and make them eat and drink something else.
  • Depending on the doctor’s instructions, bathe your child and provide alternative food and drink. Your child may vomit, so clean up and take them for a thorough check-up to ensure no other issues.

How To Stop Children From Eating Drywall?

Preventing your child from eating drywall can be achieved through various means. The easiest solution is to limit their access to the drywall. If your child is eating drywall from the window ledge, doors, or other areas in your house, you can use panels or furniture to cover them up. Additionally, it’s important to look for any underlying diseases or seek help from a psychologist.

  • Panels: Different types of panels or wallpapers are available in the market that can be applied to drywall to prevent direct access.
  • Furniture: Place furniture in front of drywall to distract your child and block their access.
  • Diseases: Calcium sulfate dehydrate is used to make drywall, so if your child has a calcium deficiency, they may crave eating it. Getting your child checked for any health-related issues and addressing them promptly is important.
  • Psychologist: A psychologist or behavioral expert can help if your child’s eating habits are caused by depression, anxiety, or stress. In such cases, they need someone to talk to, and a psychologist is the best option to help them.


What Is It Called When People Eat Drywall?

When you eat items that are not usually considered foods, then you have an eating disorder. This condition is known as Pica, where you eat things that are not edible and can lead to health problems. It includes eating drywalls, soap, paint, etc.

Can You Digest Drywall?

No, you cannot. If you eat small amounts of drywall, they will eventually come out through vomit. However, if consumed in greater amounts, it might cause a runny nose, sore throat, congestion, sinus infection, coughing, headache, and asthma attacks.

Can Eating Drywall Kill You?

No. Similar to animals eating Drywall. Drywall is not toxic if consumed in small quantities but can cause long-term diseases. Due to its calcium sulfate, dihydrate can also irritate your body parts, especially your eyes and throat.

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