Poisoning in children: Indian scenario.

A. K. Dutta, A. Seth, P. K. Goyal, V. Aggarwal, S. K. Mittal, R. Sharma, L. Bahl, J. S. Thakur, M. Verma, J. Chhatwal, B. Chacko, V. Saini, A. Singhal, P. Sharma, U. Sharma, P. Chaturvedi, S. Kumar, N. C. Prajapati, J. Vaidya, N. GargS. N. Basu, M. Lahiri, C. K. Das, D. K. Pal, S. B. Lall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The retrospective data on childhood poisoning from eight regional hospitals in India has been reviewed. The demographic features and types of poisonings encountered have been compared. The analysis of the data indicated that pediatric poisonings constituted 0.23-3.3% of the total poisoning. The mortality ranged from 0.64-11.6% with highest being from Shimla. Accidental poisoning was common involving 50-90% of children below 5 years of age and males outnumbered the females. Suicidal poisoning was seen after 13 years of age and was due to drugs and household chemicals. One of the hospitals in Delhi recorded a very high incidence (66.6%) of drug poisoning in children. The drugs consumed belonged to phenothiazines, antiepileptics and antipyretics. Iron poisoning was seen in younger children. Kerosene was one of the causes of accidental poisoning at all hospitals except Shimla and rural Maharashtra were probably wood charcoal is widely used. Pesticide poisoning was more prevalent in Punjab and West Bengal whereas plant poisoning was very common in Shimla. Significant number of snake envenomation has been recorded from rural Maharashtra. Other less common accidental poisonings in children included alcohol, corrosives, heavy metals, rodenticides, detergents and disinfectants. Thus various regions in the country showed some variation in types and frequency of childhood poisoning which could be attributed to different geographical and socio-economic background.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-370
Number of pages6
JournalIndian journal of pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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