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Childhood poisoning in Sagamu, Southwest, Nigeria

O.O. Oba-Daini
T.A. Ogunlesi
A.F. Adekanmbi
S.O. Akodu


Background: Childhood poisoning is an important cause of childhood morbidity and mortality, especially in children below five years of age. There is an increase in the range of household poisoning agents, particularly cheap hydrocarbon domestic fuel such as kerosene (paraffin).

Objective: To describe the epidemiology of poisoning in the paediatric age group in a tertiary facility in Southwest Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study covering the period from January 2013 to December 2018 at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu Ogun State, Nigeria. Relevant data were extracted from patient’s records for analysis.

Results: Out of the 2,881  admissions into the Children’s Emergency Room during the study period, 40 (1.4%) reported on account of poisoning but  only the records of 31 were available for analysis. The male to female ratio was 2.1:1.The median age was 7.8 years. The case fatality rate was 3.2%. Kerosene was the leading agent of poisoning(17; 54.8%) and palm oil was the most frequently administered home remedy. Dyspnea was the most common presenting symptom. Only one death (3.2%) was recorded.

Conclusion: Poisoning is a problem of young children and it frequently occurs in the home setting. Therefore, efforts should be targeted at  educating caregivers about the dangers of poisoning in young children.

Keywords: Children, Epidemiology, Hydrocarbon, Poisoning, Social class.

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eISSN: 0302-4660