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Ontario Poison Centre

Ice melt/De-icing salt

Ice melt/De-icing salt


Most ice melt products contain sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium chloride, or a combination of these chemicals. Young children are often curious about these crystals/pellets, which can often be brought into the home from the bottom of shoes. Taste ingestions may cause irritation of mouth and stomach but rarely causes serious symptoms. Larger ingestions, particularly with ice melts containing mainly sodium chloride, can cause more serious symptoms.

Poisoning Risk

Dependent on amount ingested.

Low in small/taste amounts.

High in larger amounts.

Expected Symptoms

  • Possible upset stomach (discomfort, nausea, isolated episode of vomiting or diarrhea).
  • Possible skin irritation/redness.
  • Large amounts (particularly sodium chloride), severe vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy.

Home Treatment

  • Provide water to drink for dilution.
  • Wash exposed skin with soap and water
  • Call the Poison Centre for further advice.


  • This product should be locked up and out of sight with all of your other household hazards.
  • Always keep this product in its original container.
  • Every case is different. OPC is available 24hrs/day to provide information for your individual situation. Call 1-800-268-9017 (Toll-free) or 416-813-5900 (Local).



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