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Children poisoning in Taiwan


Poisoning is a well known cause of morbidity and mortality in children. In Taiwan, little information has been published regarding the status of pediatric poisoning exposures. To provide more information on pediatric poisoning exposures for the purpose of poison prevention, a retrospective study was designed and conducted to analyse the data of National Poison Centre (NPC), Taiwan. All telephone inquiries concerning poisoning exposures in those under 19 years of age, received by NPC-Taiwan from July 1985 through December 1993, were included in this study. The age, sex, reason for exposure, route of exposure, substances involved and clinical outcome of those telephone calls were then analyzed. A total of 5,812 inquiries concerning poisoning exposures in children were recorded. Male exposures were more prevalent than females (59%)Vs. 41%) Accidental exposures accounted for 77.7% of the cases and most were exposed by the oral route. Substances most frequently ingested were household products, benzodiazepines and pesticides. The data revealed a mortality rate of 1.4%.

Accidental poisoning exposures from household products and drugs remain a significant problem for those younger than 6 years of age. Further education of parents and care takers and the employment of child-resistant containers are needed to prevent cases of pediatric poisoning. Reduction of amphetamine abuse in adolescents is also of major concern and deserves more attention.

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Correspondence to Cheng Chang Yang M.D..

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Yang, C.C., Wu, JF., Ong, HC. et al. Children poisoning in Taiwan. Indian J Pediatr 64, 469–483 (1997).

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Key words

  • Pediatric poisoning
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Amphetamine abuse