Epidemiological and sociocultural assessment of childhood poisonings
Halil Kazanasmaz1, Özlem Kazanasmaz1, Mustafa Çalık2
1Harran University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Sanliurfa, Turkey
2Harran University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatric Neurology, Sanliurfa, Turkey
Keywords: Childhood, Epidemiology, Poisoning, Suicide
Objectives: Poisoning occurring in childhood still continues to be an important public health issue. The aim of the study is to socio-demographically and clinically examine poisoning cases consulted to emergency department.
Methods: The findings of 121 patients between the ages of 1 month and 17 years consulting to the pediatric emergency department with the suspicion of poisoning were examined retrospectively in the study.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 6.60 ± 5.70 (min-max: 0–17) years and 49.6% of the patients were male and 50.4% were female. The most common causes of poisoning were corrosive chemicals in 35 patients (28.9%), poisonous animals in 24 patient's (19.8%) and prescription medications in 24 patients (19.8%). While 103 (85.1%) of the cases were exposed to the factor accidently, 18 of the cases (14.9%) had attempted suicide. The mean monthly family income levels of accidently poisoned cases were significantly higher than those who attempted suicide (p < 0.001). The father's education level was lower in cases who were poisoned by suicide attempt than in those who were accidently poisoned (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Poisoning rates in childhood and varieties of factors differentiate among the regions. The rate of poisoning cases due to poisonous animals was found to be quite high in the region where this study was carried out. In addition, the study showed that poisoning rates due to suicide attempt in children of families with low income level and/or father's education level have increased.