Objectives To identify the incidence rate and determinants of acute poisoning among children (1–60 months old) of employed mothers.
Method A study was conducted at the poisoning unit of a university hospital. The studied children were from both rural and urban areas, were a mix of boys and girls, did not suffer from any mental disabilities, were aged between 1 month old to 60 months old, and were of Egyptian nationality. Data was collected by using a clinical examination form and a questionnaire. All parents/carers of the studied children were interviewed as well. Clinical assessment of the children included: general health conditions; AVPU (alert, respond to verbal stimuli, respond to painful stimuli, unconsciousness); and clinical examinations.
Results 18.5% of total admissions were children (1–60 months old), 62.5% were males, 83.3% did not attend nursery, 79.9% were from urban areas, 33% of mothers were illiterate, and 60.2% of poisonings were due to household products. Kerosene alone was implicated in 24.3% of all cases; 37.4% of cases took place in the kitchen; 47.4% of cases were poisoned during the period between 8am and 4pm, and 65.4% reached the poisoning unit within 2 to 4 h of accidental poisoning. Risk factors among the studied children were ordered by stepwise regression analysis as the following: non employed mothers; children who did not attend nursery; children of the male gender; and the education and literacy level of their mothers.
Conclusions Children of non employed mothers are at more risk for acute poisoning.