Be careful! danger! – A 9-year-old was hospitalized after eating 20 fruits of this poisonous plant

Hairy nightshade - a poisonous plant

E., 9 years old from a settlement in the Shafala, was hospitalized last week at the Kaplan Medical Center of the Klalit Group, after eating the fruits of the hairy Solanum plant. B, the boy’s mother, says: “On Monday, A came home after school at noon, and was alone at home. We have a bush of hairy nightshade in our home garden and right next to it, we also have a bush of tomatoes. The fruits of these two bushes are red, and probably looked similar to him to some extent.”

E. ate about 20 units of the fruits of the hairy solanum, because he got confused between the solanum and the family tomato bush. “When I return home, A. and I leave the house, and he tells me that he ate from the ‘red fruits we have in the yard.’ I asked him what he meant, because I knew we didn’t have such fruits,” says his mother. “He explained to me that he thought it was a tomato, and also that the taste was similar, and at the same time he said that he only ate the red fruits and not the green (unripe) fruits.”

The mother hurries to teach her son not to eat fruits or plants that he does not know for sure, and decides to return home and check in the herbarium what fruit the son ate. The test reveals that it is a hairy solanum, and the mother calls the poisoning center, which directs them directly to the emergency room: “E’s father takes him immediately to the children’s emergency room at the Kaplan Medical Center.”

E. comes with his father to the children’s MD at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, and undergoes a series of tests to assess his condition. Dr. Shahar Oren, a senior physician in the Children’s Department of Medicine at Kaplan Medical Center says: “The child comes to us when he is asymptomatic, that is, even though he ate the fruits of the poisonous bush, he does not show any signs of poisoning such as nausea, vomiting or any other sign. The staff at the children’s emergency room perform blood tests and an EKG. The tests come back normal, and despite this, in light of the large amount he ate, we decide to keep him hospitalized for further supervision and follow-up.” He adds and explains: “Hairy nightshade is a poisonous plant for humans. A’s case is a mild case, because he did not experience any obvious signs of poisoning, but unfortunately we often see much more serious cases of poisoning from fruits or mushrooms that are picked and eaten, which may even end in death. It is very important to teach children, and not only, not to eat fruits or plants that they do not know, and in case there is any doubt as to what the fruit is – there is no doubt that it is better not to eat it.”

The next morning, E. was released to his home. The child’s mother concludes: “I’m glad that our case ended like this in complete health, and at the end of the day the child understood that you don’t put fruit you don’t know in your mouth. It is always important to sharpen this for children – because today it happened at home, tomorrow it could happen in the neighborhood or on a trip, and the danger is great.”

Hairy nightshade - a poisonous plant
Solanum hairy. Photo: Courtesy of the family

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