Boy, 2, dies after 'taking in too much salt'

2015-10-09 19:45


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Harare - A two-year-old boy has died in eastern Zimbabwe after apparently pouring too much salt on his porridge, it was reported on Friday.

The child, from Mutare's Chikanga suburb, had to be rushed to hospital last week after adding a huge amount of salt to his breakfast cereal when his mother was not looking, according to the official Manica Post newspaper published in Mutare.

"Two-year-old Ano succumbed to liver failure moments after eating the salty porridge," the paper said.

Neighbour Mai Tawanda told the newspaper the child was found to have wounds inside his mouth "consistent with burns caused by salt-induced inflammation".

It is not clear if this was the first time the child had added salt to his porridge.

Salt poisoning is a rare, but potentially very dangerous type of poisoning for children. It may occur over a period of time.

Another Chikanga resident was quoted as saying: "From what I heard, the boy poured too much salt into the... cereal his mother had prepared and while his mother had gone outside to do some chores, he ate a few mouthfuls."

"When she got back inside, she noticed he was weak and so she called out to us for help. The doctor confirmed his liver was affected by the excess salt, leading to his death," the resident said.

News24 contacted a general medical practitioner over the report, who said: "This could be possible as basically a very high salt intake would cause a significant change in fluid balance and electrolyte disturbance which can affect the heart."

The family of the child chased reporters away from the funeral, the Manica Post said.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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