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Iron overdose is a common cause of poisoning in children under the age of six years. Iron can be found in iron replacement tablets, prenatal vitamins, and some multivitamins.

Immediate symptoms of iron poisoning include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain

If left untreated, iron poisoning can cause:

  • liver damage
  • heart failure
  • coma
  • death

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Children like the flavors and shapes of their vitamins. The vitamins look and taste like candy, so if a child gets into a bottle, he or she may eat several.
  • Store all vitamins and iron tablets out of your child's reach.
  • Tell your child often that vitamins should only be given by a trusted adult.
  • Remember, there is no such thing as a child “proof” cap. Child resistant closures may make it only slightly more difficult for the lid to be removed by a child.

Your child’s pediatrician can tell you if your child needs a vitamin with iron.


Call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or chat from this site for questions about an exposure or for more information.

Last Updated on 04/27/2022