Dominc O. Osaghae and Godwin Sule
Accidental poisoning contributes significantly to c hildhood morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have established the direct causes of accidental po isoning in Nigerian children but the risk factors t hat predispose the children to poisoning have not been sufficiently highlighted. Consequently, this retrospective study examined the contribution of so cial and demographic factors to accidental poisoning in 262 children. Social and demographic f actors were extracted from the case files and analyzed descriptively. Fifty three percent were ag ed ≤ 2 years; 44.1% aged 3 – 5 years; and 2.5% aged ≥ 6 years. Males and females accounted for 56.9% and 43.1% respectively. Seventy two percent and 28% were from low and high social classes respectively. Age, socio economic status of families and birth order are the key factors that contribute to increa sed incidence of poisoning in children. Children ag ed ≤ 2 years are more likely to be poisoned accidentall y as compared to those of them aged 3 - 5 years. Similarly, the proneness to accidental poisoning is higher in children aged 1 – 5 years (93.1%) as compared to those younger than 1 year and ≥ 6 years of age (6.9%). Consequently, one may infer that the risk of AP in children is least before the firs t birth day, peaks at 2 years of age and generally declines as age increases.
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