A case-control study on risk factors for unintentional childhood poisoning in Tehran
Shiva Mansouri Hanis
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Background: Poisoning is a major public health problem and is one of the most frequent causes of emergency hospital admissions. The aim of this study was to identify the main risk factors for unintentional childhood poisoning in Tehran, Iran and to suggest possible causes and preventative measures. Methods: In this case-control study (case, n=140; control, n=280), two controls were selected for every case. Controls were matched by age, sex, and date of hospital attendance. All children and their guardians were then interviewed by the same person using a standard questionnaire that covered the demographic, behavioral, and risk factors associated with accidental poisonings. Results: The most common type of poisoning was related to narcotics (58.6%); and among the narcotics, methadone was the most prevalent poisoning agent (74.7%). Multivariate conditional logistic regression model revealed that addiction in the family (OR=14.6; 95% CI:6.2-34.6), previous poisoning (OR=7; 95% CI:2.4-20.2), maternal occupation (OR=4; 95% CI:1.3-12.3), and inaccessibility of poisoning products (OR=0.03; 95% CI:0.01-0.12) were the main risk factors in unintentional childhood poisoning. Conclusion: Addiction in the family as a risk factor and inaccessibility of poisoning products as a protecting factor were recognized to have the highest correlation with the unintentional child poisoning. These two factors were considered as priorities in health education programs.