The Japan Poison Information Center (JPIC) was founded only 6 years ago as a result of co-operation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine, the Japan Pediatric Society and other related medical organizations. The JPIC is the only poison information center admitted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare to provide toxicological information to medical personnel and the general public, and has two offices on duty in alternating 24 h shifts. Every year, JPIC receives about 30,000 inquiries. About 82% of these inquiries are from the general public and 84% of the patients are children 5 years and younger. We contrasted the data in the fiscal year 1991 with the data of the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). Child poison exposure in Japan is characterized by a high exposure rate of children under 1 year of age to (mostly) household products. The JPIC also analyzed the cause of tobacco ingestion. It is considered that the Japanese lifestyle causes differences from those reported by AAPCC. We report the accidental poisoning of children in Japan.