Salt poisoning - Germany

4 year old dies by accident

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Just read in the paper that a woman killed her 4-year old stepchild by making her eat too much salt: Apparently, the two were preparing a pudding, and the child accidentally put in two table-spoons of salt instead of sugar. The stepmother got angry and forced the child to eat the pudding. The child died in intensive care a day later. Apparently, a court now ruled that the stepmother does not have to go to jail, because it is not general knowledge that excessive salt-consumption is fatal, so the death was considered accidental / negligent behavior.

The newspaper says that consuming more than 1 g of salt per 1 kg of body weight within a short span of time is usually fatal. Any of our natural science / medicine buffs can confirm this? It's total news to me!
Are you telling me I can't eat 77g of salt? This sounds like a challenge to me..
Well, this is assuming the child ate all the pudding. That would then be 15 grams of salt. An average 4 year old weighs about 15kg, so if the science is right, the circumstances back it up. She might not have known, but to make the kid eat an entire salty pudding? Talk about evil step-mothers.
When we would say a bad word we had to put hot sauce on our tongue and leave it for five min. No water allowed after...but I guess thats not the same thing and killing your four year old by making them eat too much salt.

this really is a horrible story
Small Town Boy
Interesting case rumbling on in the UK about this. Seems like they will prosecute for forcing a child to eat too much salt.

Salt case couple 'wrongly jailed'
Poor bairn

I'm think eating large amounts of salt used to be the standard way of committing suicide in China... or summat.

Will google it in a bit, if I can be arsed.
Oral toxicity (The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances, 1986):

Human; TDLo: 12,357 mg/kg/23 D-C
Mouse; LD50: 4,000 mg/kg
Rat; LD50: 3,000 mg/kg
Rabbit; LDLo: 8,000 mg/kg

TDLo means the lowest dose reported, which in this case is 12.4g/kg for 23 days continously. But this could be very different for children. I suggest a larger sampling to attain more specific numbers.
so we know it's fatal, but why? i suppose i could give it a good guess, but i studied geography!
Small Town Boy
Couldn't find that information anywhere, although my guess would be dehydration.

Apparantly salt poisoning can also be used as a crude form of abortion.
Bell the cat
There was a case like this in the UK a few years ago, where an adopted infant was forced to eat salt every time he was bad. He died and I believe the parents were convicted for child cruelty and manslaughter.

Salt in very high concentrations will cause cell walls to rupture as osmosis causes a gradient outflow of fluid from the cell. Such massive cell damage in the alimentary canal would cause major bleeding and as the salt at high concentrations hits the bloodstream the same cell death would happen to blood cells too. That, I believe is how someone would die of salt poisoning.
That's crenate and before that would happen you would have a lot of other problems. Heart rhythm, nerve conduction as well as more water retention resulting in a higher cardiac load and blood pressure increase.
a little green man
Regards salt poisoning for an abortion, yes, it's called the "saline solution method".

Salt is injected into the amniotic sack. The baby's reaction is similar to putting salt on a slug. It dies painfully over a period of hours from salt poisoning, dehydration, brain haemorrhage, and convulsions. The baby's skin is burned off and delivery occurs a couple of days after the baby dies.

The horiffic image on the following webpage will ensure that anyone who sees it will never again forget what simple household salt can do to a child: Abortion procedures - salt poisoning
This really is a sad story. Wish I could show this to the great grandma who insists salt is healthy for kids then gives me dirty looks as I take yet another salt stick (salzstange) from my 10 month old babe. And she isn't wicked really. Just gives him ice cream even though he is allergic to milk - 'but he was so enjoying it' was her answer.
Small Town Boy
I assume she's German. Germans are obsessed with salt. I think that's one of the main reasons their life expectancy is actually a touch shorter than in the UK; that and the smoking of course.

Only in this country can I be dehydrated for 24 hours after eating a potato salad.
Germans are obsessed with salt.
I know the Bavarians are very keen on salt, especially Jodsalz (salt fortified with iodine).
That's because of the lack of other iodine sources in the traditional diet (due at least in part to the distance to the sea), so many people (especially the elderly) had a Kropf (goiter?). Hence the saying "Überflüssing wie ein Kropf". Similar to the English "I need that like a hole in the head"...
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