Author(s): Litovitz TL, Flagler SL, Manoguerra AS, Veltri JC, Wright L
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Abstract A study of 1943 potentially toxic ingestions occurring in children under 6 years of age was conducted by 3 geographically and demographically diverse poison centres to determine the incidence of exposures to poison. Of the total group, 30.1\% indicated that the child had experienced a prior poison exposure (12.0\% in children under 1 year of age, and 41.3\% of children between the ages of 3 and 5 years). Most repeaters (68.9\%) experienced only 1 prior ingestion (range 1 to 15). Two prior ingestions were reported in 17.6\% of repeaters; 3 prior ingestions in 4.4\%. A profound effect of age on type of substance ingested was observed, with drugs accounting for 11.0\% of ingestions in children under the age of 1 year, 23.2\% in 1-year-old, and 49.9\% in 2- to 5-year-old. A corresponding age-related decline in ingestions of household and personal care products was also noted. Although less marked than the age effect, a statistically significant propensity to re-ingest similar types of poisons was observed. Among repeaters, those with a prior ingestion of a drug subsequently ingested another drug 1.49 times more frequently than expected. A similar trend was observed with products (1.24 times more frequently) and plants (2.00 times more frequently).
This article was published in Med Toxicol Adverse Drug Exp
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research