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apple seed and cyanide?

I have a 2 and a half year old. The store near us has tiny washington apples that are perfect for him! He can hold it by himself and finish the whole thing.. by whole thing I mean seeds and all. When I laughingly told my mom this (she's very paranoid by the way, so I take what she says with a grain of salt) she said that apple seeds have cyanide in them and it could kill him. I told the doctor he eats the seeds too and told him what my mom said and he said he'd never heard of that before.. that people have been doing it for eons and that the only concern he has was that apple seeds can be sharp if chewed and there's the possibility he could scratch his mouth or his bowels.
Do apple seeds have any negative effects if swallowed? I've since been keeping a closer eye on him while he's eating an apple and also try coring them.

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Asked by alinker at 6:19 PM on Dec. 29, 2010 in Food & Drink

Level 14 (1,666 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • I'm sure he'll be fine. People eat apple seeds all the time when eating apples.

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 6:23 PM on Dec. 29, 2010

  • Yes and no. Apple seeds do contain a compound that can be metabolized into cyanide. However in order to do soand be poisoned, 1) you'd have to actually CHEW up the seeds rather than swallow them whole and 2) you'd have to eat them in sufficient quantity to build up enough cyanide in the body. The amount is so low that you would have to purposely chew and swallow a great many pips to poison yourself. Unless your son is eating pounds of apples a day and chewing up the pips in each one, it's very unlikely he can harm himself. I would, however, be concerned about choking hazards on the fruit itself at that age.

    Answer by geminilove at 6:34 PM on Dec. 29, 2010

  • Just core the apples with an apple corer.

    Answer by hypersquirrel at 12:13 AM on Dec. 30, 2010

  • I'd core the apples to be on the safe side.

    Answer by sstepph at 8:32 AM on Dec. 30, 2010

  • It would take far more apple seeds than even the most dedicated of apple eaters would eat. Your baby's safe, no worries.

    If it were a "small" number, think of how many people would already have died from eating an apple...

    Answer by mainemusicmaker at 3:07 PM on Dec. 30, 2010

  • I am always careful to make sure there are not seeds, just to be safe.

    Answer by KTMOM at 6:18 PM on Dec. 30, 2010

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