Is it Safe for Baby to Eat Dirt Out of House Plant?

Babies are often too young to know what is best for them, so it is up to adults to look out for their best interests, and that means controlling what they eat.

Is Dirt Safe?

Keep your houseplants out of the reach of small children.
For example, a baby may attempt to eat things like dirt, and parents may wonder if this behavior is safe. .

According to Dr. David L. Fay, it is not safe for children to eat dirt. While the dirt in and of itself may not be harmful, dirt contains a high amount of dangerous bacteria and could potentially include the eggs of parasites that could cause illness.

Level of Danger

Most of the dangers from dirt eating are most apparent when it is consumed in large amounts at regular intervals. Though parents should prevent their children from eating dirt and seek medical attention quickly if a baby becomes ill after eating dirt, it is not an emergency if a child eats a small amount by accident and does not become ill.


A few groups claim that eating dirt (or geophagy) can have health benefits, and a few studies have suggested that geophagy helps the immune system by giving it a small threat to stimulate an immune response. However, this idea is controversial within the medical community.

About the Author

Kevin Walker is a computer programmer who decided to take a few years out from the corporate life and see the world. He spent a total of six years living abroad and teaching English in China, Korea and Mexico before returning to his home in Texas. He uses his programming and teaching experience to write easy-to-understand computer tutorials.