Turkish Archives of Pediatrics
Original Article

Childhood Poisoning During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Süleyman Demirel University, School of Medicine, Isparta, Turkey


Sanayi Family Health Center, Isparta, Turkey


Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Süleyman Demirel University Faculty of Medicine, Isparta, Turkey

Turk Arch Pediatr 2023; 58: 268-273
DOI: 10.5152/TurkArchPediatr.2023.22247
Read: 345 Downloads: 140 Published: 03 May 2023

Objective: To determine changes caused by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic by examining the children admitted to our hospital because of poisoning during the pandemic and comparing these with data from a study conducted in the pre-pandemic period.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective examination was made of children who were admitted to our pediatric emergency department with poisoning between March 2020 and March 2022.

Results: Of the 82 (0.7%) patients admitted to the emergency department, 42 (51.2%) were girls, the mean age was 6.43 ± 5.62 years, and the majority of children (59.8%) were under 5 years of age. The poisonings were determined to be accidental in 85.4% of cases, 13.4% were suicide attempts, and 1.2% were iatrogenic. Poisonings occurred most frequently (97.6%) at home and most frequently (85.4%) by digestive tract. The most common causative agent (68%) was non-pharmacological agents. Caustic-corrosive substances were determined in 39% of cases, medical drugs in 32%, toxic gases in 11%, alcohol (hand sanitizers) in 8.5%, insecticide-pesticide in 6.1%, food in 1.2%, and animal bites in 1.2%. Compared to the study conducted in our hospital in 2013-2014, the difference in terms of factors causing poisoning was statistically significant (P < .001). Of the current study cases, 14 (17.1%) were followed up in the intensive care unit, and no mortality developed.

Conclusions: The period of the COVID-19 pandemic was seen to cause an increase in poisoning rates with caustic-corrosive substances, alcohol (hand disinfectants), and toxic gases. Families should be made aware of this issue and take special precautions.

Cite this article as: Salman H, Salman Z, Akçam M. Childhood poisoning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Turk Arch Pediatr. 2023;58(3):268-273.

EISSN 2757-6256