Published on in CHOP News
Mushrooms come in different shapes, colors and textures — and toxicity levels. Fall is mushroom season, and the Poison Control Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has received numerous calls related to mushroom incidents — 24 in October alone.
Blair Thornley, PharmD, CSPI, a pharmacist and certified specialist in poison information at the Poison Control Center at CHOP, authored a guest blog post for the Philly.com Healthy Kids blog about the dangers of toxic mushrooms. Thornley advises adults against mushroom foraging unless they’ve learned to identify the edible types. She also stresses the importance of teaching children not to eat any plants they find outside.
The majority of toxic mushrooms cause mild to moderate stomach pain; however, the more toxic ones can cause severe side effects that can lead to death. Of the 5,000 different varieties of mushrooms, 50 to 100 of them are known to be toxic. Two of the most toxic mushrooms belong to the Amanitim family and include the “Death Cap” and “Destroying Angel.”