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Symptoms and Signs of Iron Poisoning (Overdose) In Children Symptoms, Stages, Treatment, and Outcome

Doctor's Notes on Iron Poisoning (Overdose) In Children Symptoms, Stages, Treatment, and Outcome

Iron poisoning in children usually occurs when a child swallows a large number of iron-containing pills, most often vitamins. The amount of iron that causes iron poisoning depends upon the size of the child. If you know or suspect a child has consumed tablets that contain iron, go to a hospital's emergency department or contact a poison control center immediately at 800-222-1222.

Initially a child may show no symptoms of having consumed iron and the only evidence may be an opened vitamin bottle. Symptoms of iron poisoning in children usually appear within 6 hours after a large amount of iron is consumed. Iron is a stomach irritant and can corrode the intestinal lining. Symptoms of iron poisoning in children include severe vomiting (may be bloody), diarrhea (may be bloody), abdominal pain, dehydration, and lethargy. If severe poisoning is inadequately treated, shock and death can occur.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

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