Accidental paraffin poisoning in Kenyan children

Lang T, Thuo N, Akech S
Trop Med Int Health. 2008;13

Permenent descriptor

A serious and common accident in rural Kenyan homesteads is accidental ingestion of paraffin when it has been mistaken for water and offered to a young child. Here we report the incidence, parental practices and outcome of severe paraffin poisoning, requiring admission at Kilifi District Hospital, Kenya. Over a 2-year period, 48 children (0.5% of all admissions) were admitted with kerosene poisoning, constituting 62% of all poisoning cases. All cases were accidental. Ten per cent had induced vomiting. One child (2%) died. We suggest these data support assessment followed by implementation of practical and affordable measures to prevent paraffin poisoning.