alexa Acculturation in Hispanics and childhood poisoning: are medicines and household cleaners stored properly?


Journal of Clinical Toxicology

Author(s): Crosslin KL, Tsai R, Romo CV, Tsai A

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Abstract BACKGROUND: Unintentional poisonings are a major public health issue in the United States (US). With the increasing number of Hispanics in the US, childhood poisoning is a salient public health issue to address within this population. There is a paucity of research examining the relationship between acculturation in Hispanics and the safe storage of medicines and cleaners. The purpose of the study was to determine if demographic variables, such as acculturation in Hispanics, age, gender and education, were predictive of incorrectly storing medicines and household cleaners. METHODS: We conducted a study among parents/guardians of small children at two pediatric primary care clinics in the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Metropolitan area. We enrolled 201 parents to identify where they stored medicines and household cleaners, and measured acculturation with the Short Acculturation Scale for Hispanics. RESULTS: Of Hispanic participants, 49\% were categorized as less acculturated (n = 99) while 21\% were more acculturated (n = 42). Less acculturated participants were over 4 times more likely to store medicines incorrectly, and participants with a high school education or less were over 3 times more likely to improperly store cleaners. With each additional child in the household, the risk for improper storage of cleaners increased by 44\%. CONCLUSION: The fact that children of less acculturated families are at greater risk for poisoning and have lower levels of education demonstrates the need for readable educational materials on this salient topic. Because social networks are integral in Hispanic culture, especially among new immigrants, poison prevention messages should be disseminated by interpersonal communications. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This article was published in Accid Anal Prev and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology

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