If your baby or toddler has eaten paper, their life may be in danger, or, they may only have an upset stomach.

“Eating an object like paper, which is not sharp, toxic or caustic, is very unlikely to cause a medical problem,” says Irene Tien, MD, a board-certified pediatric ER physician with Mass General Brigham in MA.

“The biggest risk to eating something like paper is the risk of the child choking on the paper,” continues Dr. Tien.

“If the child did not have a gagging or choking episode, does not have persistent coughing or difficulty breathing after eating the paper, this is nothing to worry about.

“It is always a good idea to talk these types of issues over with your child’s pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns.”

The best case scenario is that your baby has no access to paper.

This should not be difficult to achieve, being that a baby or toddler can’t reach the heights where paper would normally be.

However, a toddler can climb onto a chair and get ahold of paper on a table or desk.

Take measures to make it very daunting for a little body to gain access to forbidden items.

If they haven’t choked before, this doesn’t mean they won’t choke the next time they eat paper.

Keep it out of their reach as you would the drain cleaner and medications.

In practice for 20+ years, Dr. Tien is a leading medical voice on social media, providing the public with accurate information to empower them to live their healthiest life.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.