Some 150 children each year take an overdose of vitamin pills, which are often
marketed with bright colours and fruity tastes, according to the Poison
Control Line at Bispebjerg Hospital.
“We have a lot of parents who call us because little Peter has eaten too many
vitamin pills. Fortunately we are mostly able to tell them to relax,” says
Poison Control Line Consultant Kim Dalhoff MD.
The tendency is also one that hospitals have experienced, with several
children each month arriving for monitoring, iron content tests and to have
their stomachs pumped.
The main problem appears to be the iron in vitamin pills, too much of which
can give stomach pains, blood in vomit and in rare cases damage to the liver
“We have to admit children several times a month for observation and to test
them for iron. Luckily we seldom see serious poisoning,” says Dalhoff,
adding that five vitamin pills are not a serious problem, but if the child
has eaten 20, 30 or more, parents must be wary.
One way of avoiding the problem is to put vitamin pills out of the reach of
“Many parents have their vitamin pills in the kitchen or on the kitchen table
– probably to remember them. Bu with small children in the house, that is
not a good place,” says Prof. Steffen Husby of the H.C. Andersen Paediatric
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