Caustic soda ingestion in children under-5 years presenting for fluoroscopic examinations in an Academic Hospital in Ghana.

Disastrous effects and lifelong complications, ranging from respiratory and gastrointestinal burns to death can result from caustic soda ingestion. Accidental and non-accidental ingestions occur in different age groups. However, it is very troubling to find ingestion of caustic soda a very common occurrence among children below 5 years since they do not have the developmental level required to independently weigh up risks and are also under parental and societal protections. This study was therefore planned to investigate the ingestions of caustic soda by these children for purposes of proposing measures to curb the problem.
Descriptive survey was employed for this study. A 14-item, semi-structure questionnaire was purposively issued to 57 parents/guardians whose wards had ingested caustic soda. Data was analysed with SPSS V.20.
Twenty-seven (47.4 %) children got access to the soda at storage, 1 (1.86 %) was administered accidentally by a sibling while 29 (50.9 %) ingested during soap preparation. In respect of the former, the majority got access because it was stored in soft drink and water bottles in their parents/guardians rooms or kitchen. For the later, the children got access to the left-over soda because the soap-makers failed to adhere to good storage and disposal practices.
Storage of caustic soda in soft drink and water bottles in accessible places, and training of children to drink directly from bottles influence caustic soda ingestion in children under five. Non-compliance to good practices of storage and disposal of caustic soda during soap preparation increases exposure and access of children to caustic soda ingestion.
AuthorsBenard Ohene Botwe, Samuel Anim-Sampong, Benjamin Dabo Sarkodie, William K Antwi, Jeannette Obeng-Nkansah, Gabriel G N A Ashong
JournalBMC research notes (BMC Res Notes) Vol. 8 Pg. 684 ( 2015) ISSN: 1756-0500 [Electronic] England
PMID26576563 (Publication Type: Journal Article)

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