Risk factors of acute poisoning among children: A study at a poisoning unit of a university hospital in Egypt


  • Raed M Alazab Professor of Occupational Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Occupational Medicine, Alazhar University, Cairo
  • Mahmoud T Elmougy Professor of Pediatrics; Faculty of Medicine, Alazhar University, Cairo
  • Ramadan A Fayad Professor of Pediatrics; Faculty of Medicine, Alazhar University, Cairo
  • Hoda F Abdelsalam Professor of Clinical Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria
  • Amr S Mohamed Specialist of Pediatrics, Ministry of Health, Alexandria




Poisoning, Children, Incidence, Risk factors, Egypt


Childhood poisoning is a major cause of morbidity in both developing and developed countries. In spite of the suc-cess of some interventions to prevent accidental poisoning in the pediatric population, toxic ingestions continue to be a common occurrence. This aim of this study was to identify the incidence rate and determinants of acute poison-ing among children (1-60 months old) who were admitted to the Poisoning Unit of a university hospital in Egypt. A study was conducted in the period from July 2011 until May 2012 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 stim-uli, respond to painful stimuli, unconsciousness); and clinical examinations. The findings of the study demonstrated that 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 prod-ucts. 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 hours 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 educa-tion and literacy level of their mothers. Effective health promotion programs for parents and carers regarding poi-soning hazards are needed to increase awareness and reduce the incidence of poisoning among children.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3329/seajph.v2i2.15943

South East Asia J Public Health | Jul-Dec 2012 | Vol 2 Issue 2 | 41-47


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How to Cite

Alazab, R. M., Elmougy, M. T., Fayad, R. A., Abdelsalam, H. F., & Mohamed, A. S. (2013). Risk factors of acute poisoning among children: A study at a poisoning unit of a university hospital in Egypt. South East Asia Journal of Public Health, 2(2), 41–47. https://doi.org/10.3329/seajph.v2i2.15943



Original Research