Research Article

Stress in families of children who have ingested poisons.

Br Med J 1975; 3 doi: (Published 12 July 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;3:87
  1. R Sibert


    One hundred families of children under 5 years admitted to Cardiff Hospitals after accidentally ingesting poisons were compared with 100 control families matched for socioeconomic class and age and sex of the child. Questioning about five major stress factors (serious family illness, pregnancy, recent family moves, one parent away from home, anxiety or depression in one or both parents) disclosed significantly more stress in the affected families than in the controls. Thirty of the affected families had more than one major stress factor compared with four of the controls, while 63 of the controls had no major stress factor compared with 24 of the affected families (P less than 0.001). In only four of the affected families was there no stress factor. Fifteen children took poisons in homes other than their own. Unemployment was significantly more prevalent in the affected families than in the general population, though apart from this the socioeconomic backgrounds were similar. There were significantly more accidents and childhood poisonings in the parents and siblings of affected children than in the control families. In 25% of the cases poisoning was with Angiers Junior Aspirin.