Ugeskr Læger 2009;171(4):239-242
Summary Enquiries to the Danish Poison Information Centre concerning children aged 0-14-years Ugeskr Læger 2009;171(4):239-242 Introduction: Acute drug poisoning in children poses a serious health problem. The present study assesses all enquiries to the Danish Poison Information Centre (Giftlinjen) concerning children during a one-year period. Material and methods: All enquiries concerning children aged 0-14 years in the period 1.9.2006 to 31.8.2007 were reviewed and the following data registered: date and nature (drug or other toxicant) of the poisoning, gender, age, address of the poisoned patient, place of poisoning, drug name, dose and the final risk assessment. Results: Among the 9,920 enquiries to Giftlinjen, 4,399 concerned children. Among those, 1,060 were related to drugs. The most frequent cause of enquiry was related to intake of multivitamins, although these cases were mostly classified as not dangerous . One third (337/1,060) of all cases were categorised as requiring treatment, and 31/1,060 were categorised as life-threatening - often due to iron intake. The main part of all poisonings took place during play in the patient's own home (age group 0-6 years). However, there was a trend among patients aged 13-15 years that the poisoning was due to affective acts or a suicidal reaction (often with paracetamol = acetaminophen). Discussion: Most drug poisonings in children are not dangerous. However, there is often an uncertainty as to the toxic dose ingested, and an individual and thorough assessment of each case is therefore necessary. The risk assessment and advice given by Giftlinjen is an important tool to avoid unnecessary contact with hospital emergency rooms or other health care services.