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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4375987, 9 pages
Research Article

Risk Factors for Acute Unintentional Poisoning among Children Aged 1–5 Years in the Rural Community of Sri Lanka

1University Paediatrics Unit, Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Correspondence should be addressed to M. B. Kavinda Chandimal Dayasiri

Received 28 May 2017; Accepted 3 July 2017; Published 8 August 2017

Academic Editor: F. J. Kaskel

Copyright © 2017 M. B. Kavinda Chandimal Dayasiri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Acute poisoning in children is a major preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in both developed and developing countries. However, there is a wide variation in patterns of poisoning and related risk factors across different geographic regions globally. This hospital based case-control study identifies the risk factors of acute unintentional poisoning among children aged 1−5 years of the rural community in a developing Asian country. Methods. This hospital based case-control study included 600 children. Each group comprised three hundred children and all children were recruited at Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital, Sri Lanka, over two years (from February 2012 to January 2014). The two groups were compared to identify the effect of 23 proposed risk factors for unintentional poisoning using multivariate analysis in a binary logistic regression model. Results. Multivariate analysis identified eight risk factors which were significantly associated with unintentional poisoning. The strongest risk factors were inadequate supervision (95% CI: 15.4–52.6), employed mother (95% CI: 2.9–17.5), parental concern of lack of family support (95% CI: 3.65–83.3), and unsafe storage of household poisons (95% CI: 1.5–4.9). Conclusions. Since inadequate supervision, unsafe storage, and unsafe environment are the strongest risk factors for childhood unintentional poisoning, the effect of community education to enhance vigilance, safe storage, and assurance of safe environment should be evaluated.