You are looking out for the health of your child, and that means you feed them the right foods, make sure they get plenty of sunshine and exercise, and supplement their diet with a multivitamin. However, the harmless looking drops, gummies, and chewable vitamins may pose a secret risk to your child’s health: the risk of accidental overdose.
Each year, more than 60,000 instances of vitamin toxicity are reported to US poison control centers.
If your child accidently gets hold of the jar of brightly colored, candy-flavored chewable multivitamins, there is a real risk involved. Fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K have a high potential for toxicity, since they are able to accumulate in the body.
The largest risk with accidental vitamin overdose is iron overdose. Multivitamins that contain iron are the most toxic - especially to infants and children.
Iron overdose is considered a leading cause of poisoning-related injury and death in young children.
According to a review published in the Southern Medical Journal, “The children often obtained the iron from a child-resistant container opened by themselves or another child or left open or improperly closed by an adult.”
Keeping young children safe from harm is a full time job. Even if your home is free from children’s multivitamins, and all of their brightly colored, candy flavored, gummy temptation, vitamins and supplements still pose a safety hazard to children.
According to data from the 2009 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 56% of adult US consumers said they take vitamins or supplements, with 44% saying they take them daily. Your vitamins pose a substantial risk of vitamin overdose to your child.
Protect Your Child From Vitamin Overdose
While it is always a good idea to keep medications out of reach and out of sight of children, additional steps should be taken to protect your child from the leading cause of child poisoning.
Don’t rely on childproof caps. Young children and toddlers can easily open up childproof caps. One solution is to keep all vitamins and supplements in a lock box out of reach of your child. Another solution is to keep vitamins and supplements in a locking pill bottle. Safer Lock offers locking caps that give you the security of a combination lock for your vitamins, but allows you to keep them easily accessible and conveniently portable.
Educate children about the risks of vitamins and pills. Tell them that vitamins are “medicine” and not candy, and the dangers of a vitamin overdose.
No matter how diligent an eye you keep on your child, it only takes a few seconds for them to get into something that can harm them. Reduce the risk of vitamin poisoning and protect your child by taking extra steps to keep vitamins and supplements securely locked and out of reach.