Accidental Poisoning of Children: Barriers to Resource Use in a Black, Low-Income Community



Abstract This descriptive study examined factors that influence use of poison-prevention measures and poison control center resources in a black, low-income, inner-city community. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 32 mothers of children under age 10 years at two federally funded health centers and two community food pantries. Participants were interviewed using a semistructured interview schedule. Data were analyzed qualitatively, with the results indicating that the majority of mothers had a considerable degree of awareness regarding poisoning susceptibility, severity, and prevention. However, few had access to or had used the poison control center's telephone number. Only 56% had received direct information regarding poisoning, with recall tending to be more accurate when information was obtained outside of the prenatal and postpartum settings. Lack of awareness of poisoning management and poison control center resources was most frequently cited as a barrier. Although this study was limited to one community, it indicates a possible need to distribute culturally acceptable poisoning information and frequent reinforcement for families with small children.