Accidental poisoning in pre-school children requiring hospital admission has increased sixfold from 1955 to 1975 in the Stockholm area. The mortality from this accident has decreased from 0.5 to less than 0.1 per 100 000 pre-school children in the whole of Sweden during the same period. Medical and psychosocial background factors were investigated in 104 consecutive in-patients (0--6 years old) with accidental poisoning and compared to an out-patient group, a group of patients who only had called the poison control centre, and a matched control group from Child Health Centres. There were no difference between the groups regarding health and history of earlier accidents except that 20--25% of the families of the poisoned children and 7% of the control families had called the Poison Control Centre before. Change of residence during the last 6 months was much commoner among families of poisoned children than of nonpoisoned. Other social stress factors were more common among in-patients than out-patients. The measures taken by the parents to combat the poisoning were adequate in most cases. The decrease in mortality inspite of the increase in potentially dangerous accidental poisonings may be attributed to a good knowledge among parents about adequate measures and where to seek advice resulting in early treatment, and to intensive care and antidote therapy.
OBJECTIVE: To study factors of importance for infants' use of health and medical care. DESIGN: We studied the medical records of the mother during pregnancy (at the health centre, at the antenatal clinics, and at the department of obstetrics and gynaecology) and of her infant during the first 18 months of life (at the health centre, at the child health clinic, and at the departments of paediatrics and oto-rhino-laryngology). We also interviewed the mother when her infant was 18 months old. SETTING: Teleborg health centre, Växjö, southern Sweden. SUBJECTS: 206 infants and their mothers. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Medical visits, to doctor or district nurse, during the infants' first 18 months of life, and factors of potential importance for those visits. RESULTS: A stepwise linear multiple regression analysis showed that the following factors were of importance for the infant's use of health and medical care: number of mother's visits to the health and medical services during pregnancy, mother being a primipara, and mother being a blue-collar worker. The model (12.98 + 0.52* (no. of mother's visits) + 2.19 (if primipara) + 1.48 (if blue-collar worker)) was able to explain 8.6% of the number of infant's visits. CONCLUSION: The studied factors explained only a minor part of the infants' use of health and medical care.