Poison prevention practices and medically attended poisoning in young children: multicentre case-control study

Kendrick, Denise, Majsak-Newman, Gosia, Benford, Penny, Coupland, Carol, Timblin, Claire, Hayes, Mike, Goodenough, Trudy, Hawkins, Adrian and Reading, Richard (2017) Poison prevention practices and medically attended poisoning in young children: multicentre case-control study. Injury Prevention, 23 (2). pp. 93-101. ISSN 1475-5785

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Childhood poisonings are common, placing a substantial burden on health services. Case-control studies have found inconsistent evidence about modifiable risk factors for poisonings amongst 0-4 year olds. This study quantifies associations between poison prevention practices and medically attended poisonings in 0-4 year olds.


Multicentre case-control study conducted at hospitals, minor injury units and family practices from four study centres in England between 2010 and 2013. Participants comprised 567 children presenting with unintentional poisoning occurring at home, and 2320 community control participants matched on age, sex, date of event and study centre. Parents/caregivers provided data on safety practices, safety equipment use, home hazards and potential confounders, by means of self-completion questionnaires. Data were analysed using conditional logistic regression.


Compared with community controls, parents of poisoned children were significantly more likely not to store medicines out of reach (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.59; 95%CI, 1.21, 2.09; population attributable fraction (PAF) 15%), not to store medicines safely (locked or out of reach (AOR 1.83; 95%CI 1.38, 2.42; PAF 16%) and not to have put all medicines (AOR 2.11; 95%CI 1.54, 2.90; PAF 20%) or household products (AOR 1.79, 95%CI 1.29, 2.48; PAF 11%) away immediately after use.


Not storing medicines out of reach or locked away and not putting medicines and household products away immediately after use increased the odds of secondary care attended poisonings in 0-4 year olds. If associations are causal, implementing these poison prevention practices could each prevent between 11% and 20% of poisonings.

Item Type: Article
RIS ID: https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/970033
Keywords: Poisoning; prevention; unintentional; home; case-control; risk factor
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Primary Care
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2015-041828
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 21 May 2016 15:03
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 19:58
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/33207

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