One hundred and twenty-seven accidentally poisoned children from the emergency room of the Islamic Girls College, Cairo, were compared with an equal number of controls.
The highest age incidence for both sexes in poisoned children was 36 months. Males outnumbered females at a ratio of 3:2. Behavioural problems such as hyperactivity, temper tantrums, aggression, stubbornness, nocturnal enuresis and impulsiveness occurred more often in poisoned children than in controls and more often in those (24 patients) referred with accidental poisoning on more than one occasion. The families of poisoned children differed significantly from the controls in their large size, low level of education, disturbed home atmosphere and the accessibility to the child of the poisonous substance.