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Am J Emerg Med. 1997 Jul;15(4):357-60.

Child and adolescent suicide attempts: an opportunity for emergency departments to provide injury prevention education.

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  • 1Toxikon Consortium, Cook County Hospital, USA.


The study objectives were to ascertain whether caretakers of suicidal children and adolescents received emergency department (ED) injury prevention education and to determine if injury prevention education and the medical outcome after a drug overdose are associated with caretakers restricting access to means of suicide. Participants were adult caretakers of children and adolescents who deliberately ingested a drug and received ED evaluation. Information was obtained by poison center chart review and phone interview. Fourteen percent of caretaker reported receiving injury prevention education concerning restriction of access to potential means of suicide at home. ED injury prevention education is significantly associated with caretakers restricting access to suicidal means, even when controlling for medical outcome from the attempt. Because parents are less likely to restrict access to means of suicide without education, injury prevention education about restricting access to means of suicide should be given in the ED.

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