Author(s): Singh S, Singhi S, Sood NK, Kumar L, Walia BN
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Abstract The epidemiology of acute poisoning in children aged 0-15 years hospitalized between 1970-1989 was retrospectively investigated. Two hundred and seventeen children were admitted during this period with 134 in 1980-1989 vs 83 in 1970-1979. Two distinct patterns were observed: accidental poisoning in under 11's and adult pattern and self poisoning in children over 11's. More children belonged to urban areas (72.3\%) as compared to rural areas. In both decades more than half of children belonged to middle income group followed by lower income group and least to upper income group. The overall mortality was low (12.5\%), with majority of deaths (78\%) occurring in older children. The incidence of kerosene ingestion was noticed to have dropped by more than half between 1980-1989 as compared to 1970-1979 (14.9\% vs 42\%). The study highlights the unacceptable high rate of preventable accidental poisoning in young children and suicide and parasuicide in older children (11-15 years age group).
This article was published in Indian Pediatr
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology