Pediatric hydrocarbon-related injuries in the United States: 2000-2009

Pediatrics. 2013 Jun;131(6):1139-47. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-3913. Epub 2013 May 6.


Objective: To generate national estimates of hydrocarbon-related exposures occurring in children ≤5 years of age who were treated in US emergency departments or called a regional poison control center.

Methods: This retrospective review compared hydrocarbon-related injuries that occurred from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2009, that were reported to the National Poison Data System and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for children ≤5 years of age.

Results: From 2000 through 2009, the National Poison Data System reported 65 756 actual calls to regional poison centers, and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System reported an estimated 40 158 emergency department visits for hydrocarbon-related injuries. Individuals involved were predominantly male and 1 to 2 years of age. Ingestion was the most common mechanism of injury, and most injuries did not result in hospitalization. The rate of emergency department visits and calls to poison centers decreased significantly (P < .0001) over the 10-year study period. Exposures to hydrocarbons demonstrated seasonal variation, with more occurrences in the summer months.

Conclusions: The comparison of the two data sets illustrates a similar trend in hydrocarbon-related injuries in children. Although cases have declined, most likely due to existing prevention efforts, hydrocarbons are still a large source of preventable exposure and injury in children.

Keywords: NEISS; NPDS; aspiration; hydrocarbon; pediatrics; poison center; poisoning; toxicity.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons / poisoning*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Poison Control Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Hydrocarbons