Amid public anxiety about Ebola, SARS, bird flu and other health threats, the emergency services in the town of Moers took no chances: ambulances and emergency response teams descended upon the Geschwister-Scholl comprehensive school after several pupils showed signs of suspected poisoning.
A 10-year-old from the fifth class then admitted that she had wanted her friends to have some fun with a tube of effervescent vitamin tablets she took from home.
Only she had mistakenly picked up a similar looking package with fizzy tablets her grandfather uses to sterilize his false teeth.
Dissolved in water, the solution caused a few stomach aches for nine children examined in hospital.
But doctors said they were in no danger as the alarm was called off, the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reported.
The fire brigade, which coordinates emergency operations, praised the school’s “exemplary” handling of the situation.