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Pediatricians warn of the risk of fungal poisoning in children
Within a very short time, four children with fungal poisoning were admitted to the Hannover Medical School (MHH). Apparently they had eaten the poisonous mushrooms while playing in the garden or park. Experts warn that there are currently ideal conditions for mushroom growth and therefore there are more toadstools on playgrounds and in the garden.
Fungus poisoning is by no means uncommon for inexperienced mushroom pickers. This results in severe - in the worst case life-threatening - health impairments. Every year, experts therefore warn of the health risks associated with mushroom picking during the mushroom season. At the Hannover Medical School (MHH), however, four children with fungal poisoning were brought in in a very short time, which is why the doctors expressly point out the risk that poisonous mushrooms can pose in the garden or in public parks.
Weather conditions ideal for mushrooms
What mushroom pickers love can be a real danger for children. Because the warm, humid weather is currently causing mushrooms to sprout not only in the forest, but also in private gardens and parks. It quickly happens that children pick a mushroom and put it in their mouth, warns the senior physician Dr. Imeke Goldschmidt from the MHH. In order to avoid unnecessary risks, "the adults should have walked off the play area and removed the mushrooms first," reports the senior physician, who is herself the mother of a small child.
Two poisonings with tuberous agarics
How concrete the danger is can be seen from the fact that four children had to be treated with fungal poisoning in the MHH within a week. The team around Professor Dr. Dieter Haffner from the Clinic for Pediatric Kidney, Liver and Metabolic Diseases at the MHH found life-threatening tuberculosis poisoning in two children, one of whom was a refugee girl from Syria. Both children are now out of danger, reports the MHH. In two other cases, smaller children would have eaten mushrooms from a lawn, luckily the mushrooms were far less toxic.
Increased awareness among parents
According to Professor Dr. Ulrich Baumann, Head of Gastroenterology / Hepatology at the Clinic for Pediatric Kidney, Liver and Metabolic Diseases, "such an accumulation of fungal poisoning in children is unusual." According to the experts, it is urgent here for parents to be more aware of the risk of fungi in gardens or parks. "We appeal to parents to take a close look at where their children are playing," says Prof. Baumann.
Mushroom picking is also dangerous for adults
According to the experts, even inexperienced adults are exposed to a risk that should not be underestimated when collecting mushrooms. For example, “At the end of July, gastroenterologists from Professor Dr. Michael Manns warned because an unusually large number of adults had poisoned themselves with tuber agarics, ”reports the MHH. The basic principle for mushroom pickers is: "If vomiting and diarrhea develop after eating collected mushrooms, it is essential to consider tuberous leaf poisoning!"
If you suspect fungal poisoning, help should be sought as soon as possible. For example, the Poison Information Center North can provide initial information and, in an emergency, an emergency doctor must be contacted immediately or an emergency clinic consulted. (fp)