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Hazards of Vitamin Overdose

Vitamin Overdose: Too Much of a Good Thing

Whoever said you could never get too much of a good thing was sorely mistaken. Vitamins may be beneficial for good health and development, but they can easily be mishandled and overused.

Most children's vitamins – such as the chewable and gummy-kinds found on pharmacy shelves – contain US Food and Drug Administration recommended levels of essential vitamins. However, when the tablets are abused, or when a child gets a hold of the bottle and begins treating it like candy, the overdose can occur and the consequences can be critical. Among the most serious issues in a vitamin overdose is iron poisoning. Excess iron can irritate the intestinal tract causing stomachaches, vomiting and diarrhea. If not removed from the body immediately, it can cause liver damage that can result in shock and scarring of the stomach and intestine.

Most doctors agree that the best way to ensure that tots are receiving the vitamins they need is to cook a variety of whole, fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables. If your pediatrician does recommend a multi-vitamin, due to a lil one being a finicky eater, a very active child or having a chronic medical condition, keep the tablets or chewables out of reach. And, communicate with your spouse, nanny or any other caregiver to insure that double doses aren't being given on a daily basis.

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