The leading cause of accidental poisonings in American children under the age of 6 isn’t from household cleaners. It is from iron supplement overdoses. These are commonly ingested from adult’s multivitamins as well as prenatal vitamins. Even five or six prenatal vitamins ingested by a small toddler can be fatal.
How do these poisonings occur? Most often, a child-proof bottle is left open where a curious toddler can gain access to it. You should always secure all caps tightly, and always keep vitamins and prescription drugs well out of sight and reach.
Because many parents refer to vitamins or pills as candy to get their child to take them, some become tempted when they are able to get access to some. Parents should never refer to vitamins or pills as candy, because children then can’t differentiate between what is really candy, and what is a vitamin or pill that they should only take once per day. And some vitamins are designed to be like candy, such as the chewable gummy style vitamins.
If you suspect an iron, vitamin or mineral overdose, call your local poison control immediately, or take your child to the emergency room. If possible, have the bottle with you of what your child ingested, so doctors can determine their next step of action.
Possible symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea or stomach pain. In some cases, children can go into shock or into a coma. And in some cases, they child may die. It is crucial you take steps immediately if you suspect your child has ingested even a few.
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