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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1993 Jan;32(1):30-5.

Behavioral antecedents of pediatric poisonings.

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Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.


To determine how the behavior of 3- to 7-year-olds might contribute to pediatric poisoning, a taxonomy of pediatric ingestions was conceptualized and tested. Thirty-nine of 50 caretakers who called the Middle Tennessee Poison Center about poison ingestions by a child in this age group provided details of the poisoning history and family characteristics. Histories were coded by a psychologist according to the 14 antecedent conditions of the poisoning taxonomy. Improper storage, noncompliant behavior, curiosity, misinterpretation of the substance, improper child monitoring, and imitative behavior were judged the most common antecedent conditions of these ingestions. Lack of knowledge of poison prevention methods was infrequently coded. Noncompliant behavior as a condition of the poisoning was associated with parental reports of general child behavioral problems. Ingestions involving imitative behavior were associated with parental report of poor social supports. The findings highlight the need to address behavior in designing poison prevention programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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