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First Aid & Emergencies

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Iron Poisoning Treatment

Call 911 if:

  • The child is unconscious.

  • The child is unconscious.

Symptoms of iron poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, and lethargy. But at the outset, there might not be any symptoms. If you suspect your child might have swallowed iron tablets, treat it as an emergency.

1. Remove the Iron Supplements

  1. Check the child's hands and mouth, as well as the surrounding area, for any remaining iron tablets.
  2. Do not try to make the child vomit with ipecac or salt water or gagging.

2. Get Help

  1. Call the National Poison Control Hotline and follow their recommendations: 1-800-222-1222.
  2. Go to the emergency room.
  3. Bring the bottle of iron supplements with you for the doctor to see.


Once your child is at the hospital, the next steps depend on the particular case.

  1. The doctor will test iron levels in the body.
  2. Pumping the stomach might help, but only within an hour of swallowing the pills.
  3. Chelation is treatment with intravenous chemicals that draw iron out of the body.
  4. Laxatives can help clear out the iron from the intestines.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on January 21, 2016

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