Clinical presentation, treatment and outcome of acute dettol poisoning in children


  • Sunilkumar MN Department of Pediatrics, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Thrissur-680 555, Kerala
  • Thekkuttuparambil Ananthanarayanan Ajith Department of Biochemistry, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Thrissur-680 555, Kerala
  • Vadakut Krishnan Parvathy Department of Pediatrics, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Thrissur-680 555, Kerala



Poisons, Accidental childhood ingestion, Dettol, Chloroxylenol, Pine oil, Isopropyl alcohol


Background: Despite various statutory warning, accidental ingestion of poisonous substances by children remains a major challenge to clinicians working in a tertiary care hospital. Accidental ingestion of dettol, a common household disinfectant is one among them where the clinical presentation was found to vary according to the amount ingested. This study was aimed to understand the clinical profile of accidental ingestion of dettol (AID), its treatment and outcome.

Methods: A descriptive study was conducted in children, who admitted with special reference to AID in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) between January, 2010 and December, 2015. A standard performa which included age, sex, time of presentation to PICU after ingestion, clinical presentations, treatment given and the outcome were taken.

Results: Among 5806 children admitted during the study period, 401 (6.9%) were due to acute poisoning. About 62 poisonous substances were identified. AID was found in 5/401 (1.2%) cases. Nausea, vomiting with burning sensation of oral mucosa, and abdominal pain were the symptoms when ingested a small amount (10-20 ml) of dettol. Stomach washing and antiemetic were the first line therapy. No mortality was evidenced from AID.

Conclusions: Nausea, vomiting with burning sensation of oral mucosa, and abdominal pain were the clinical presentations of AID at mild quantity ingestion which were effectively managed by stomach washing and antiemetic therapy. Though AID was a rare accidental poisoning in children, it can be completely prevented by educating the society to keep the poisonous substance out of the reach of children.


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Original Research Articles