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November 1984

The Environment Away From Home as a Source of Potential Poisoning

Author Affiliations

From the Massachusetts Poison Control System (Ms Polakoff and Dr Lovejoy); the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, The Children's Hospital (Mr Lacouture and Dr Lovejoy); and the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School (Dr Lovejoy), Boston.

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(11):1014-1017. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140490014003

• A prospective study investigated poisonings that occur away from home. During the study period, 13% of all poisonings involving children aged 5 years or younger occurred away from home. Drugs accounted for most of these poisonings in both study and control (cases randomly selected from poisoning that occurred at home) groups. The potential toxicity of products involved in the study group was significantly greater than that in controls. Prescription drug poisonings, which occurred with similar frequency in study and control groups, were more potentially toxic in the former. The availability of ipecac syrup was significantly less in the study group. Grandparents' homes, the most common location in the study group, also had the lowest availability of ipecac. Poisonings away from home are frequent, potentially dangerous, and these environments are less adequately prepared to handle such exposures.

(AJDC 1984;138:1014-1017)