Accidental Ingestion of Medications in Pediatrics

Accidental ingestion usually manifests symptoms like vomiting, drowsiness, and breathing difficulties. They are usually managed through gastric lavage and administration of charcoal. In the end, there are a variety of preventive measures that parents and caregivers can undertake to reduce, if not totally eliminate the incidence of accidental ingestion of medication in children. Accidental ingestion in children is one of the most common causes of deaths from poisoning not just in the United States, but in other countries as well. The American Association of Poison Control Centers claims that about 30 children across America die each year because of accidental poisoning and more than 2.4 million poisoning incidents are recorded in poison centers across the United States every year (Accidental Poisoning in Children). In India, approximately 40% of accidental poisoning in pediatrics is reported during the second year of life, about 12% in children less than a year old, and about 20% in the third year of life (Siddaraju Word Press). In 2003, Progressive Insurance established that medication swallowing was most frequent between 18 and 35 months and was the single highest cause of injury for all childhood ages (What’s New). The latest figures from Safe Kids Worldwide claim that about 91,000 children below the age of 14 are treated in Emergency Rooms for accidental poisoning. Of these 91,000, 100 usually die. Their figures also indicate that 90% of toxic poisoning occurs at home, with about 40% of cases attributed to medications (91,000 Children per Year Treated for Accidental Poisoning). Although great strides have been taken towards preventing and managing poisoning due to accidental ingestion, these numbers remain high and are increasing every year.