If consumed raw, anyone can become sick from eating an acorn. They contain a large amount of tannic acid, and if they are consumed raw for a prolonged period of time, they can cause extensive kidney damage. They can be eaten though; just leach them in water to remove the acid. However, if someone eats just one, they may get a stomachache or vomit the acorn back up, but other than this, eating an acorn should not cause any severe damage. Obviously, if someone exhibits any severe symptoms, they should be taken to a doctor or medical facility immediately.
My friend is a nurse and said that if the acorn is eaten whole it might cause a bowel obstruction, so you might want to keep an eye on the next time the child has to go to the bathroom- if the pain is to intense seek out help from the ER.
Acorns also are a choking hazard. Anything that hard, that size has the potential to block a small child’s airways. I would recommend leaving the acorns to the squirrels.
There are some ways to prepare an acorn so that it is safer for human consumption. Native American tribes would either: 1) bury the acorns in mud for a couple of days then dry them in the sun, or 2) put them in a stream for a couple of days. Both processes remove the harmful tannin. Currently, the methods used to dry acorns for consumption are room temperature drying, sun drying, or oven drying. For details on the advantages and disadvantages of each, click on the link below.
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