I was reading a medical publication today, and found this information interesting. It’s certainly something I didn’t know when my children were very young.
Vanilla Extract – I often heard that a person could get drunk by drinking vanilla extract. I’ve wondered if that’s true. The answer seems to be “yes”. For children, that’s a real danger. Vanilla extract contains ethanol, the same type of alcohol found in beer, wine, and hard liquor (and other types of flavoring extract, perfume, cologne, aftershave, and mouthwash, too). The amount of extract called for in recipes would not be dangerous. But a child who swallowed the contents of a bottle might be at risk of alcohol poisoning. Keep flavoring extracts out of reach, along with other alcohol-containing liquids.
But, there are more dangers lurking. Nutmeg tastes great in cookies and eggnog, but too much can cause hallucinations. Children who get into the container, and people who deliberately swallow a lot of nutmeg trying to get high, can become miserably sick. Nausea, vomiting, agitation, prolonged drowsiness, and coma are all possible. Keep the nutmeg, and its relative, mace, out of the reach of children.