Objectives: To assess differentials in the poisoning rates of children aged 0–4 years according to residential location and geographical remoteness.
Design: Cross sectional study based on hospitalizations.
Subjects: Children aged 0–4 years admitted to hospital due to poisoning during the financial year 1996–97.
Main outcome measures: Crude rates of hospitalization.
Results: The rate of hospitalization due to poisoning peaked in the third year and second year of life for medicinal and non-medicinal substances respectively. Rates were significantly higher among children aged 0–4 years residing in rural and remote areas when compared with those residing in metropolitan areas, and rate differentials increased with geographical remoteness.
Conclusions: The observed differentials suggest the need for targeted research and prevention efforts aimed at rural and remote area communities. A detailed empirical study is recommended, involving the assessment of risk factors and an in-home hazard checklist, as a precursor to any intervention program.
- AIHW, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
- rate differentials
- remote areas
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