The purpose of this study was to identify and characterize caretakers who fail to utilize the poison center for unintentional poisonings involving children. We interviewed 210 caretakers of children evaluated for unintentional poisoning in the emergency center of an urban, university- based teaching hospital to determine (1) whether demographic differences exist between those caretakers who contacted a poison center prior to the emergency center visit and those who did not and (2) whether differences exist in prevalence of poison prevention knowledge and behaviors between the two groups. Ninety-six (46%) of caretakers did not contact the poison center prior to the emergency center visit. Significant differences were found between the two groups for the following caretaker variables: Race/ethnicity, language preference, age, level of education, country in which schooling occurred, and type of insurance coverage for the child. When logistic regression was used to control for confounding, the two variables associated with failure to use the poison center were black race and schooled outside the United States (primarily in Mexico). Poison center callers reported a higher prevalence of poison prevention knowledge and behaviors than noncallers. Educational interventions should be targeted to the groups of caretakers identified who do not use the poison center.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health