Although all the preventive efforts made to avoid paediatric poisonings, these remain a major health problem. Non intentional poisonings in young children are the most commonly registered in the Paediatric Emergency Departments (PED). Although there is a great variability all over the world, most common way of poisoning is the ingestion of therapeutic drugs (frequently psychotropic medications), followed by household products, and not always kept out of the child’s reach and in their original container. CO inhalation and ingestion of pesticides are quite frequent in some regions.
Children are usually carried by their parents to the PED in the family vehicle just after the event. Poison Control Centres and Medical Pre-hospital Services are not often contacted by the families before going to the hospital. A large amount of children do not receive any treatment although 5–10% of the ingested substances are considered to be toxic in small doses. The administration of activated charcoal is the most common gastrointestinal decontamination procedure performed and ipecac is no longer used. However, there is a great variability in the management of these children.
Prognosis is usually good, being the death exceptional, and sequelae are very rare and usually related with the ingestion of caustic household products.
An exhaustive analysis is needed to design different improvement actions required to prevent these poisonings, to manage correctly these children adapted to best international practices and to use health resources in a better way.