Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Dis Child. 1991 Feb;145(2):204-6.

Unsuspected cocaine exposure in young children.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Boston (Mass) City Hospital 02118.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the prevalence of cocaine exposure among preschool children with clinically unsuspected signs and/or symptoms.

DESIGN:

Prevalence study.

SETTING:

Pediatric emergency department in an inner-city hospital.

PARTICIPANTS:

250 children aged 2 weeks to 5 years who underwent urine assays for cocaine prior to discharge from the emergency department.

INTERVENTIONS:

None.

MEASUREMENTS/MAIN RESULTS:

Six (2.4%) of the 250 urine assays (95% confidence interval, 0.5% to 4.3%) were positive for benzoylecgonine, the major urinary cocaine metabolite. Four of the positive urine assays were from children younger than 1 year and all children with positive urine assays were younger than 24 months. None of these children presented with a complaint or was identified as having clinical problems currently associated with childhood exposure to cocaine. Possible exposure routes include breastfeeding, intentional administration, accidental ingestion of cocaine or cocaine-contaminated household dust via normal hand-to-mouth activity, and passive inhalation of "crack" vapors.

CONCLUSION:

Among the inner-city children served by this hospital, significant numbers of infants and young children are being exposed to cocaine, and this exposure occurs in a clinically unsuspected population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center