"Understanding where there are geographic clusters of kids being exposed to medications that could hurt them gives us the opportunity to effectively intervene," said senior author Anthony Fabio, assistant professor of epidemiology at University of Pittsburgh in the US.
‘In poor and rural areas, the likelihood of a child under five being referred to a hospital for a medication poisoning is 3.2 times greater than elsewhere.’
"It also could help emergency clinicians to ask the right questions and perhaps zero in on a medication exposure when a child comes in with unexplained symptoms," said Fabio.
The study analyzed as many as 26,685 Pittsburgh Poison Centre records of pharmaceutical drug exposures in kids under five years old from 2006 through 2010.
The researchers found that in rural areas, the likelihood of a child under five being referred to a hospital facility for a medication exposure is 3.2 times greater than elsewhere.