Accidental household poisoning in children: shedding light on the common agents and risk factors


  • Nirmal S. Rameshkumar Department of Pediatrics, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Preethi Tamilarasan Department of Pediatrics, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Arulkumaran Arunagirinathan Department of Pediatrics, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, India



Accidental poisoning, Household poisoning, Ingestion, Intoxication, Poisoning agents


Background: Household poisoning is one of the leading causes of accidental injuries in children. The cause may vary between different countries. The aim of the study was to identify the causative agents as well as risk factors pertaining to our country such as social, demographic, cultural factors and local customs.

Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. All children in the age group of 6 months to 12 years with established diagnosis of acute accidental known household poisoning were included in the study group.

Results: Most of the children with accidental poisoning were in the age group of less than 2 years (56.8%), with male preponderance (66.7%). The commonest poisoning agent was kerosene in 45% of the children followed by detergents (9%), drugs (8.1%), paint thinner (7.1%) and ant chalk (4.5%). In 62.2% of cases poisons were not in original container. Socio-demographic factors such as parents’ education status, mother’s employment or type of family did not show significant correlation.

Conclusions: Accidental poisoning is a preventable cause of morbidity and rarely even mortality in children. Awareness needs to be generated amongst parents about simple but effective measures in the household to prevent such incidents. Given the pandemic, the presence of children at home constantly increases the importance of vigilance regarding this public health issue.


Author Biography

Nirmal S. Rameshkumar, Department of Pediatrics, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, India

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics


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Original Research Articles