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J Family Community Med. 2004 May;11(2):59-63.

Pattern of childhood poisoning in abha city - southwestern saudi arabia.

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  • College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia.



To describe the pattern of childhood poisoning in the Emergency Room (ER) of the Pediatrics Department in Aseer Central Hospital (ACH), in order to suggest possible causes and preventive measures.


This is a retrospective study of cases of childhood poisoning or ingestions attending the pediatric emergency room of Aseer Central Hospital or those admitted to the Pediatric Department of same hospital in Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during the period of January 2000 to December 2003. Children aged 12 years and below were included. Review of records was done to collect data on clinical information such as age, sex, type of poison, clinical condition on admission as well as the time, place and date of exposure to the offending agent.


In this study, 114 poisoned children aged 12 years and below were studied. It was found that children from 2-4 years were more liable to poisoning (81%, p<0.001). Males were (68%) while females were (32%), with a sex ratio of 2.2:1. Medical drugs offended the most (72%, p<0.001). As regards clinical condition on admission, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting as well as abdominal pain represented (82%) of the cases. Daytime was when 80% of poisoned cases were admitted (p<0.001). The peak months were from June to August (71%, p<0.01). As regard the place of exposure to offending agent, living rooms and bedrooms accounted for 58% of the cases(p<001).


The peak age for poisonings in children is before the age of four with significantly high diurnal frequency, significant seasonal variation in favor of summer. Medical drugs were the most common agents of poisoning, and living rooms and bedrooms the places where most poisoning occurred. Good and continuous supervision by parents is essential, especially from the age 1-5 years. There should also be legislation for the use of child resistant containers for home medicines and household agents.


Aseer Central Hospital (ACH) and Emergency room (ER); Poisoning

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