Poison exposures and use of ipecac in children less than 1 year old

Ann Emerg Med. 1986 Jul;15(7):808-10. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(86)80378-x.


Poison exposures in children less than 1 year old and the safety and efficacy of syrup of ipecac in children 9 to 12 months old were evaluated in a prospective eight-month study conducted at the Massachusetts Poison Control Center. Poison exposures in children less than 1 year old represented approximately 9% of the 38,080 calls received. Mobile children (in walkers, crawling, or walking) were at the greatest risk of poisoning. The majority of children (94%) were asymptomatic and none were hospitalized or died. The products involved were primarily plants (38%) and household products (30%). All 21 patients, ages 9 to 12 months, were given 10 mL syrup of ipecac under medical supervision and vomited within one hour. The mean time to vomit was 21.7 (SEM +/- 2.8) minutes. The patients vomited 3.3 (SEM +/- 0.3) times and all episodes of vomiting abated by 26.4 (SEM +/- 6.6) minutes. No significant side effects were noted. The use of the syrup of ipecac in the 9- to 12-month-old child appears to be safe and effective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Household Products / poisoning
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Ipecac / therapeutic use*
  • Ipecac / toxicity
  • Male
  • Plant Poisoning / epidemiology
  • Plant Poisoning / therapy
  • Poisoning / epidemiology*
  • Poisoning / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors


  • Ipecac