Circumstances Of Accidental Poisoning In Childhood In Kenyatta National Hospital
The circumstances of accidental poisoning in childhood were studied in 59 children brought to Kenyatta National Hospital with known or suspected acute poisoning. The factors studied were the age and sex distribution of the poisoned children, the poisoning agents, the circumstances under which these substances were acquired and whether first aid measures were taken to remove these substances at home. The commonest age group affected was found to be the under 5 years, comprising of 40 chiIdren (73%). The peak age was noted to be 1-2 years accounting for 19 children (33%), and there were 39 boys (67%). The most frequently ingested substances were household agents (36%), medicaments (32%) and food and plant agents (24%). Majority of the substances (83%) were obtained from 'own house'. The most important contributory factor was that the poisons were 'easily accessible'· in virtually all children accidentally poisoned. Kerosene, the commonest, poisoning agent, was 100% "accessible' to· the children ingesting it and the same applied for the medicaments accidentally ingested. Only 25% of the children had 'appropriate' first-aid measures taken where applicable .