Non-accidental salt poisoning

Arch Dis Child. 1993 Apr;68(4):448-52. doi: 10.1136/adc.68.4.448.


The clinical features of 12 children who incurred non-accidental salt poisoning are reported. The children usually presented to hospital in the first six months of life with unexplained hypernatraemia and associated illness. Most of the children suffered repetitive poisoning before detection. The perpetrator was believed to the mother for 10 children, the father for one, and either parent for one. Four children had serum sodium concentrations above 200 mmol/l. Seven children had incurred other fabricated illness, drug ingestion, physical abuse, or failure to thrive/neglect. Two children died; the other 10 remained healthy in alternative care. Features are described that should lead to earlier detection of salt poisoning; the importance of checking urine sodium excretion, whenever hypernatraemia occurs, is stressed.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy / complications*
  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy / diagnosis
  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy / metabolism
  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy / psychology
  • Poisoning / diagnosis
  • Poisoning / metabolism
  • Sodium / blood
  • Sodium / urine
  • Sodium, Dietary / poisoning*


  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Sodium