Accidental poisoning due to ingestion of potentially toxic substances is a major cause of morbidity in children worldwide .The purpose of this Study was to determine the prevalence and patterns of ingestion potentially toxic substances by children in Fatema AL-Zahra teaching hospital which served the eastern parts of Baghdad and to recommend plans for poisoning prevention.
Medical records of patients admitted to the pediatric medical department (p.m.d) in Fatema Al-Zahra teaching hospital because of accidental poisoning during the last 3 years (January 2004 to December 2006) were reviewed.
A total of 13351 children were admitted to the pediatric medical department during the study period .Of these,110 children were reported as cases of accidental poisoning .The highest percentage of poisoning were found in the 1-2 years (yr) age group about 56 cases (50.9%) . Hydrocarbons ingestion accounted for the highest proportion of childhood accidental poisonings 53cases (48%).
Although one case of death was reported in this study, continuous education of parents and caregivers of young children is recommended, as this would help to reduce the chances and complications of accidental poisoning.