Poisoning in Saudi Arabian homes Essay

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Being one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality, this paper shall examine the prevalence of poisoning in Saudi Arabian homes by looking into the different factors that contribute to the commonness of such. The study, in its hopes of finding the factors related to the topic, made use of two kinds of research: qualitative and quantitative. Secondary data analysis shall be made use of in looking into the cases that happen in Saudi Arabia, at the same time, a survey had been devised to fifty respondents who all had an experience with poisoning.

As such, the questionnaire looked into factors such as the improper storage of hazardous substances such as cleansers, pesticides/insecticides, chlorine bleach, etc. In the same manner, it looked into the importance of the educational attainment of the parents in making sure that their homes are safe from the horrors brought about by poisoning. The results have been analyzed through the use of Pearson analysis. Lastly, this paper suggests preventive measures in its hope to contribute to public health. This would be necessary after examining the different factors and ensuring that each is addressed in making the homes be a better place to live.


The Prevalence of Poisoning among Saudi Arabian Children, inside their own homes. Cross-sectional study in Saudi Arabia from February 2007- February 2008

1.2. Research Question:

            How prevalent is poisoning among children below the age of six inside their homes in Saudi Arabia?


            This paper aims to look into the factors that contribute to the prevalence of poisoning in Saudi Arabian homes, especially those under the age of six.

At the same time, it aims to meet the following specific objectives:

1.3 Background of the Study

The advances made in modern medicine together with the effectiveness of controlling infectious disease, injuries remain to be the principal threat to the health and welfare of the children and adolescents in many parts of the world. It is because of this that the past years have seen efforts in trying to prevent injuries from happening within the confines of their own homes (Scheidt, et al.,1995). However, despite the grievousness of the matter, it was only within the last ten years that this particular area made some people interested and in the same manner, policies and other resources had been aimed to find ways to prevent injuries at home.

The scientific and technological developments that the twenty-first century have introduced brought in thousands of tons of industrial agents and products nearer to us. The introduction of these industrial products range from everyday products such as the cleaning agents and cosmetics that we use in our every day lives to the products that are used for agricultural purposes, veterinary, medicines and other drugs used to treat disease. It is because of this that poisonings, either accidental or intentional are now seen to be a phenomenon that is very common all over the world. Unfortunately, however, the victims of these poisonings are the children. In fact, Erkal and Safak (2006) mentions that almost two-thirds of these accidents occur in children below five years old.

            Poisoning is said to be one of the immediate reasons in the urgent illnesses seen in the children. At the same time, it is also a cause of mortality and morbidity. However, unlike other causes of death, poisoning could be prevented. Looking into the grievous matter, poisonings are said to account for about two percent (2%) of the accidental deaths in developed countries and for five percent (5%) in developing countries such as Saudi Arabia. Thus, governments have made significant efforts in their hopes to reduce the number of children victims of poisoning. However, it is seen that these accidents still occur despite efforts in trying to prevent them. In the United States alone, more that a million children under six years old have been poisoned.

            In Saudi Arabia, children, especially those under six years of age face the same problems. They are increasingly being opened up to the ingestion of toxic household materials due to the lack the improper storage of such. As it has been mentioned, the accidental ingestion of poison and household products is very common source of morbidity and mortality in the world. Although cases are significantly higher in low-income or developing countries, industrialized countries like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are still not safe from its threats. However, the victims of these cases in industrialized countries are actually older than its victims in lower income countries, Izuora and Adeoye (n.d.) mentions.

            The ingestion of poisonous substances in Saudi Arabia could be accidental, non-accidental or iatrogenic in young children. More often that not, the ingestion of these substances (ranging from substances that are classified into drugs whether they are prescribed or non-prescribed to household products and plants) are accidental. It is because of this that the toxicity also varies which ranges from low to intermediate and finally, to potentially toxic (Izuora and Adeoye, n.d.). Figure 1, obtained from Izuora and Adeoyes Seven Year Review of Accidental Poisoning in Children at a military hospital in Hafr Al Batin, Saudi Arabia, shows the different types of poisons that Saudi Arabian children usually ingest.

Figure 1. Types of Poisons Saudi Arabian Children Ingest (Izuora, n.d.)

In line with this, the symptoms that accompany poisoning depends on the degree of toxicity that children have which is also related to the type of poison ingested. Some children get drowsy due to the ingestion while others experience pains in the abdomen. Other children on the other hand are more irritable, jittery, experience hypotension, tachycardia, tachypnea, and the like. However, those who suffer from severe toxicity, show severe complications that often include lipoid pneumonia that is usually the result of the intake of kerosene. But this is not the worse. There are also children who would experience acute or severe convulsions because of poisoning, some even go to a coma, and finally, there are others who die due to poisoning due to the amount of toxic substance ingested.

            There are many reasons why children (especially those under the age of six) all over the world fall as victims to poisoning. However, most blame the mothers and the caregivers for such misfortunate incidents (Burnham, 1996). Being under the age of six, most of these children do not have the capacity and ability to discern on whether or not certain substances in their homes are poisonous. In addition, several household products such as cleansers and perfumes have a pleasing smell that young children are often tempted to taste them when nobody is watching.

At the same time, children also die due to over dosage as they mistakenly take medicine tablets which highly resemble candies (Juurlink, et al., 2003). Thus, it is the primary responsibility of their parents, guardians and caregivers to keep these poisonous substances safe and out of the childrens reach. At the same time, manufacturers on the other hand should apply certain strategies that could ensure the safety of their products. Meaning, the containers of the household products they sell in the market should be designed in such a way that young children would not be able to open it (Burnham, 1996).

1.3.1.Lead and Iron: Major Sources of Poisoning

             Being citizens of a highly industrialized country where lead is very important, the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is exposed to this substance which in one way or another could cause poisoning. True enough, direct industrial poisoning is no longer prevalent nowadays.

            At the same time, as it has been mentioned, the citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, just like all other citizens on the face of this planet had been highly exposed to lead as a result of the extensive industrial uses of lead, in petrol, paint, battery and pottery industries that in one way or another contaminate food and water supplies, as mentioned by Simkiss (2003). However, children are more affected rather than adults since the former absorb about half of the amount they have ingested through air borne pollution.

            Lead has so many toxic effects on the biological systems. The childrens acute exposure to such substance could mean coma, convulsions and even death. On the other hand, chronic lead poisoning could harm the central nervous system, kidneys and haematopoietic systems, as mentioned by Simkiss (2003).

            In the same way, iron causes so many harmful effects on children which may also lead to their death. However, death due to iron poisoning could be as simple as taking a higher dosage of that particular supplement. Juurlink, et al. (2003) states that iron is one of the leading causes of poisoning-related deaths in children. Most of the time, iron poisoning is caused by the birth of a younger sibling, as pointed out by the study of Juurlink et al. (2003). According to the said study, since the treatment of iron is being prescribed by doctors after a mother gives birth, the other young children in the house tend to mistake the iron tablets with candies.

1.4. Importance of the Study

            As it has been mentioned in the earlier part, poisoning is one of the major sources of mortality and morbidity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as in many parts of the world. This study is then important as it would show the factors that contribute to the prevalence of poisoning in the said country which may be true around the world. In informing the readers about the causes of poisoning, they could simply undertake steps that would ensure the safety of their own homes by keeping their toxic substances away from the reach of the young children living in their homes. At the same time, this research could also help the governments and health care institutions in providing their citizens with the necessary precautionary steps related to poisoning.

            There are so many ways in which people could prevent poisoning and other accidents inside their own homes. One of which is the use of warning labels and signs that are intended to convey very important information related to hazards. People tend to get much knowledge and information through these pieces of information, thus avoiding hazards. The primary purpose of these warnings after all is to prevent accidents through changing the behavior of the people towards them.

2.1. Target:

Saudi Arabian children below the age of six

            This chapter shall be devoted in looking into the factors which make poisoning prevalent in Saudi Arabia, the actions of the government of the said country, the general public and members of the health care industry as a response to this pressing problem. In the same manner, it would look into the effects of prevention in lessening the number of poisoning cases in Saudi Arabia.

            The literature that this study will review shall be faithful to the objectives of this paper. Once again, this paper, in examining the prevalence of poisoning of children below six years old in Saudi Arabia aims to look into the reasons why these kinds of incident happen. It aims to analyze the role of the government, the parents and the citizens in general in preventing the horrors of poisoning from haunting their own homes. Aside from this, it would also examine the Saudi Arabian homes are they safe enough for children under six to live in? Lastly, the role of health care institutions shall also be assessed do they have campaigns to ensure the prevention of these accidents and how do they respond to poisoning cases?

            Injury is one of the most common causes of death for young children in high and middle-income countries. In low-income countries however, deaths in this particular age group are caused by infectious disease. Nevertheless, deaths from injury are growing at a fast rate (Mock, 2001).

            Millions of children in developing countries die and are disabled due to unintentional injuries due to challenging living conditions such as heavy traffic, a lack of safe play space and an absence of child care options, together with a disproportionate vulnerability to injury which place all children at a higher risk when combined. In fact, the Global Burden of Disease Study highlighted the overall toll from injury in all the developing countries. Injury-related causes of death are said to be included in the top 6 killers of children such as road accidents. Other major causes include accidental causes such as drowning, fires and burns, poisoning, falls and other home injuries.

Although victims could be spared from death, inefficient health services which cause emergency services to be inaccessible and unaffordable cause more children to die because of accidents. However, this is not perceived to be one of the biggest problems of developing countries as they focus more on preventing the transmission of contagious disease as well as problems related to nutrition which contribute more to the child mortality and morbidity rates (Bartlett, 2002). At the same time, preventive measures to address these problems could not be developed due to the limited health budgets and at the same time, the nature these accidents (being uncontrollable and unpredictable) seem to be a hindrance in trying to prevent them from happening.

            However, unintentional injury is also a significant problem being faced not just by developing countries but developed countries as well, as stated by Manciaux and Romer (1991). The prevalence of these accidents is blamed on the fact that both national and international agendas have neglected the issue.

2.2. Poisoning: a definition

            Rajasuiar et al. (2007) defines poisoning an exposure to either natural or synthetic substance which could result in structural damage of functional disturbance to the body. In 2000, the report of the World Health Organization or WHO showed that there was about 315 000 recorded deaths due to poisoning all over the world. The economic burden of poisoning derives from the expensive treatment costs as well as the possible life years one lose because of acute cases of poisoning.

            Poisoning is inevitable, especially those that could be ingested or inhaled accidentally. In order to lessen the number of cases of the said incident, one must learn from every experience and take precautionary measures to avoid poisoning. On the national level, the government and its authorities should be able to examine the reported incidences of poisoning. It is through their assessment that they would be able to detect dangerous trends in a certain community, the governments function which is referred to as toxicovigilance. The information that toxivigilant studies would present should be derived from complete and comprehensive surveillance systems, as mentioned by Rajasuriar (2007). It is only through this that the people would be assured that preventive measures and policies would be designed in such a way that it would be efficient in reducing the cases related to poisoning.

2.3. Poisoning in Saudi Arabia 

            Saudi Arabia has no single organization that dedicated itself to performing the function of toxivigilance. Thus, information on poisoning in the country remains very scattered. However, laws clearly state that occupational-related poisonings should be reported at once to the relevant authorities. Despite the formulation of these laws, the task of reporting such incidences remain in the hands of the managers or attending physicians. As there is no organization that looks into this process, the reporting schemes compulsory nature has been violated. In fact, it has generally been voluntary in nature. Furthermore, this reporting scheme covers only those who are poisoned at work whilst those who are poisoned within the confines of their own homes are disregarded.

            Saudi Arabia, just like all other countries in the world has a National Poison Center which was established to answer the inquiries of the general public and those working in the healthcare industry which has something to do with poisoning. Just like in other poison centers in the different parts of the world, poisoning inquiries are well documented in their National Poison Center. Although not numerous, the poison center receives reports from the different poisonings happening inside the homes. However, the number of cases reported remains very limited.

            It is once again a major cause behind the urgent illnesses of children, a preventable cause of both mortality and morbidity. According to Erkal and Safk (2006), poisoning accidents that children encounter inside their own homes are due to the lack of preventive measures. It is primarily the familys education especially that of the mother contributes so much in making their childrens environments safer although the different poisoning factors differ from one country to another, the geographical regions, seasons, customs and levels of education in a certain community.

The accidental poisoning of children is a very important health problem, constituting to about 2% of the total number admissions in most pediatric wards in Saudi Arabian hospitals. The involvement of children under the age of six in poisoning is due to their curious and explorative behavior, as mentioned by Izuora (n.d.). It is usually the toddlers or those under the age of six who tend to put almost every substance they encounter into their mouths may include tablets and other harmful substances.

The ingestion of household products contributes so much to the prevalence of poisoning within the homes of the citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, the ingestion of certain drugs which could lead to over dosage is a problem amongst the Saudis. The reasons behind these are the dispensing of drugs inside envelopes instead of being contained inside child-resistant containers.

            As to the household products that contribute to the prevalence of children poisoning, reports show that the most popular of these products are the following:

Petroleum products contribute so much to the prevalence of poisoning as infrastructure and housing facilities are not properly built in such a way that fumes could be easily inhaled.

2.4 Major causes of poisoning

2.4.1 Lead

            One of the most common causes of poisoning is lead. The higher exposure of people today is a result of extensive industrial uses of lead, in petrol, paint, battery, pottery industries together with contamination of food and water. In addition, most lead emissions originate from petrol. Children are said to be highly affected since, as quoted from Simkiss (2003), pulmonary ventilation and oxygen consumption per kg body weight in children is about twice that in adults. In the same manner, children absorb about half of the amount of ingested lead whilst adults only absorb a maximum of ten percent (10%). The effects of lead to children may include the following: coma, convulsions and of course, death.

            Being citizens of a country where crude oil is being produced, lead could be one of the most leading causes of poisoning among children in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This shall be essential in looking at why poisoning is prevalent among the Saudi Arabian children, especially those who are under six years old.

2.4.2 Iron

            Aside from lead, iron is another leading cause of death due to poisoning. The study conducted by Juurlink, et al. (2003) showed that the birth of a new sibling could in one way or another contribute to the risk of iron poisoning. Iron tablets are often used as health supplements due to their minimal toxic potential. it is also because of this that these tablets could be purchased over the counter without prescription. However, an over dosage could be more dangerous than other medicines that require prescription. Only 10 tablets of ferrous sulfate (iron) could kill a young child. It is for this reason that iron is one of the leading causes of poisoning in young children.

            Another factor which contributes to the iron poisoning of children is its candy-like appearance that children often mistake them for candies. It is in line with this that the analysis of the Saudi Arabian homes shall be made, by looking into the safety precautions undertaken by the different homes in order to prevent their children from taking in substances and medications that they are not supposed to take, which could lead to eventually lead to death due to poisoning.

2.4.3. Kerosene Ingestion

            According to Simmank, et al. (1998), kerosene is another product that poisons children acutely in many of the developing countries. Kerosene ingestion, according to research often happens during summer and mostly affects children who are between the ages one and three. In Africa, kerosene ingestion accounts for about 61-82% of all the recorded poisonings. Generally, a direct ingestion of kerosene through gastro-intestinal absorption; rather, it hits the respiratory system, damaging the lungs after inhaling the fumes.

            The various effects of kerosene to the human body include the following: (1) cyanosis, (2) tachycardia, (3) tachypnoea and (4) nasal flaring. It may also include supraclavicular, intercostals, and substernal reactions(Simmank, 1998). These effects are brought about by the inhalation of toxic, hazardous substances that could displace alveolar gas that could harm the respiratory system.

2.4.4. Toxic Substances

            Being under the age of six, most of these children do not have the capacity and ability to discern on whether or not certain substances in their homes are poisonous. In addition, several household products such as cleansers and perfumes have a pleasing smell that young children are often tempted to taste them when nobody is watching. It is because of this that warning label and signs printed on the packages are to convey information related to these hazards. However, considering the young age of these children, they do not possess the capacity in interpreting or reading what those signs are saying. They tend to depend so much on how the package looks and the smell of the product.

2.5. Prevention of Poisoning

            There are so many ways in which people could prevent poisoning and other accidents inside their own homes. One of which is the use of warning labels and signs that are intended to convey very important information related to hazards. People tend to get much knowledge and information through these pieces of information, thus avoiding hazards. The primary purpose of these warnings after all is to prevent accidents through changing the behavior of the people towards them.

            Ferguson, et al. (1982), through their study on the distribution of stickers along with poison-prevention information show that those who became a part of this campaign were less likely to be involved in medically-reported poisoning incidents than the children from a control group which did not receive the stickers and the pamphlets.

2.5.1. Education of mothers        

In a study conducted by Erkal and Safak (2006), education has been one of the main reasons why accidents such as poisoning at home. In that particular study, about forty percent (40%) of the mothers of the victims received lower levels of education and most of them are unemployed. It is because of this that they do not possess the capacity to teach their children the information they need to prevent the ingestion of these chemicals. In the same manner, being uneducated, these mothers failed to incorporate the necessary preventive measures inside their homes.

They do not make use of child resistant containers in ensuring that poisoning would not happen within the confines of their own homes. They store drugs, pesticides/insecticides and cleansers in cabinets that children could easily reach. More often than not, they place them inside unlocked cupboards which make it once again easier for children to reach these hazardous and toxic substances. At the same time, these mothers do not generally know how to react to the incidence by performing first aid on their children or bringing them to the nearest health care institution.

The storage of these poisonous materials in cupboards where children could easily reach them, poses a potential threat of poisoning in the young children at home. Thus, parents are encouraged to store drugs, cleaning agents, insecticides/pesticides, etc. in closed, locked cupboards and out of the childrens reach. It is through this that mothers and caregivers in ensuring that a safe and secure environment is provided for. It is also in lieu with this that the children should also be supervised at all times so that they would not gain access to the cabinets containing the substances. The parents should also undergo interdisciplinary seminars that are aimed to the prevention of poisonings and risk factors for the enlightenment of the parents.

Likewise, medicines are another source of different poisonings. Therefore, the use of child-resistant packaging in preventing accidental poisoning with prescription medicines is highly encouraged. It is through this kind of packaging that the childrens access to these drugs would be lessened. In the same manner, the parents should also supervise their children while they are taking their medicine. Counseling of parents is essential in ensuring that they are properly educated to prevent the poisoning of their children.

2.6. Significance to Public Health

            The prevalence of poisoning in Saudi Arabian homes is very important to public health as knowing the factors behind each and every incident could help the formulation of policies and other preventive measures that would help reduce the number of poisoning incidents to the whole country. In the same manner, this research shall provide the different means by which families could keep their homes safe from the horrors of poisoning. It is through the discussion of these areas that the research could significantly help in the betterment of public health.

            In the same way, this research aims to open the eyes of the people about the topic at hand, thereby lessening the prevalence of poisoning in the homes, making them safer for children below the age of six. Through this, the morbidity and mortality rates, brought about by poisoning could be significantly lessened.



Through the use of survey questionnairres


The hospitals within the city of Riyadh


Cross-sectional study



Households who have had experiences with poisoning


Families who have either one or more children who had been victims of poisoning from February 2007-February 2008, based on the records of the hospitals within the city of Riyadh.

Inclusion Criteria:

All families within the city of Riyadh whose children, under the age of 6 had been victims of poisoning inside their own homes

Exclusion Criteria:


Study of Variables

Improper storage of hazardous substances

Improper storage of drugs and other medicines

The Explorative nature of children

Education level

Knowledge of preventive measures


Where did the accident happen?

Was the child under supervision when the accident happened?

What was the substance ingested?

How did the parents react to the accident?

Knowledge of First Aid Treatment

2.7. Limitations of the Study

Obviously, the homes that served as respondents incorporated preventive measures into their homes since they have already been victimized by poisoning. This is one of the biases that this research has encountered. In the same manner, this research only targeted homes wherein children under six became victims of poisoning. It is suggested that other homes should be targeted, to see whether or not people in Saudi Arabia are being informed of the prevalence of poisoning in their country and how this has affected the incorporation of preventive measures into their homes.

In one way or another, the respondents may not also give the researcher the necessary information, for the fear that they might be blamed for the accident that happened. As to data entry, the researcher may face problems as the results of the survey would be entered manually, without the aid of automated papers that could be directly scanned by a machine. However, the researcher shall be making use of SPSS, to avoid other irregularities with regard to the data produced by the research.

Being a cross-sectional study, this research shall focus on a subset of a population of the citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, those homes that had been once haunted by the negative consequences of poisoning incidents, more specifically, the children below the age of six.

Secondary data signifies the collection of data that is already in public domain. Howard (1996), Saunders et al (2003), both noted that secondary data is that which have already been collected for some other purposes and subsequently stored. Typically, information sources will include books, journals, magazines and the World Wide Web for information on regulations and pension.  In the same manner, it would look into the records hospitals have that show the different cases of poisoning amongst children under the age of six.

Applied research shall also be used to review the different types of poisoning. Basically, the adoption of applied research shall be concerned with the application of research techniques, procedures, and methods that form the body of research methodology as applied to the collection of information about various aspects of a situation, issue, problem or information gathered that can be issued for policy formation and administration in relation to the prevalence of poisoning in Saudi Arabian homes.

In the same manner, the articles that have been obtained shall be used to support an exploratory research in order to help find the weaknesses [and strengths] of health education programs in preventing poisoning from haunting the different Saudi Arabian homes, especially the children under the age of six.        

Generally speaking, the qualitative paradigm is an approach that uses measurements and statistical investigations. Collins and Hussey identified the fact that this approach used by the natural sciences was very successful and encouraged the social scientist to adopt their practices. They argued that the approach seeks the fact or causes of social phenomena, with little regard to the individual; hence logical reasoning is applied to the research so that precision, objectivity and rigour replace hunches, experience and intuition as the means of investigating research problems. They further pointed out that, the positivist approach is based on the belief that the study of human behaviour should be conducted in the natural sciences.

The positivists argued that laws provide the basis of explanation, permit the anticipation of phenomena, predict their occurrence and therefore allow them to be controlled. This explanation consists of establishing causal relationship between variables by establishing causal laws and linking them to a deductive or integrated theory. Thus, social and natural worlds are both regarded as being bound by certain fixed laws in a sequence of cause and effect.


3.1. Quantitative Method

The study adopts a descriptive quantitative design, attempting to provide the general factors which contribute to the prevalence of poisoning in the Saudi Arabian homes. The use of a quantitative style is advantageous such that it can standardize the varying nature and perceptions of the families and victims of poisoning.

In a study which is quantitative in nature, the researcher intends to gather data so that a valid conclusion may be arrived at regarding the outcomes of broadly comparable experiences. An objective or positivist approach is adopted by those who utilize this design (Cohen & Manion, 1994), which is applicable in this paper. The main principle underlying this approach is that knowledge and facts are measurable and that complicated problems may be comprehended more effectively if they are broken down into less complicated pats (Easterby-Smith et al, 1996). Moreover, this approach becomes more potent in the quest for universal laws which explain reality and which lend themselves to observation (Burrell & Morgan, 1979).

The quantitative approach has several advantages among them is the fact that they have clearer boundaries with regard to data gathering. While it is an advantage in itself, it does not come without weaknesses. For this approach to yield valid conclusions, the tool that is used for data gathering has to have acceptable psychometric properties. The construction of the research tool must be subjected to rigor and careful analysis (Reason & Rowen, 1981). One other limitation for quantitative methods is the need to use a substantially large sample to be able to garner more valid results (Easterby-Smith et al, 1996).

In the present study, the quantitative portion shall be carried out through the administration of survey questionnaires to fifty Saudi homes where a young child has been victimized by poisoning. It is through the questionnaires that the researchers would examine the different factors that contribute to the prevalence of poisoning.

3.2. Qualitative method

To augment, understand and better explain the statistics that will be gathered from the instrument, an investigative research on the requirements of the logistics companies covered by this study, as made available in the analysis of results, are compared vis- -vis each other.  And upon finding common denominators, the researcher would try to explain the reason behind such requirements in relation to the factors that contribute to the prevalence of poisoning in Saudi Arabian homes.  This is because according to Cohen and Manion (1994), researchers who decide to utilize qualitative methods take on a subjectivist approach, suggesting that facts cannot be effectively comprehended by looking at them exclusively; they must be placed in context.

It is critical that problems be considered as components of a complicated fabric or relationships, and such components may not be taken in isolation (Easterby-Smith et al, 1996).  Having been aware of the factors that contribute to the poisoning of the children, one must look into how preventive measures could help in lessening the number of cases of poisoning. In the same way, it would compare the efforts of both health care systems and the government in being faithful to the different preventive measures discussed in the paper.

The primary edge of the comparative analysis employed in this study is that it is impartial and easy to comprehend as compared to interviews where a researchers manner and tone of questioning may greatly affect the answers of the respondent and where the respondents internal environment (i.e. mood, current thoughts or feelings, etc.) can affect the way he/she answers the questions or the amount of information that can be gathered. Moreover, the comparative analysis used in this study lends itself to the use of a limited number of respondents, which are not required to participate actively in this mode of data procurement. According to Reason and Rowen (1981) and Richardson (1996), this number of respondents is adequate for as long as the methodology is carried out properly and over a reasonable duration.

Regardless of the number of respondents, the important aspect is that all aspects regarding the prevalence of poisoning in Saudi Arabian homes shall be covered.  While Reason and Rowen (1981) and Richardson (1996) advise that there are also disadvantages to this approach, this seems to be inapplicable to the study[1] because the research design has structure and that the respondents are not totally severed from participating in this study.

3.3. Research Method Decision

            The focus of this study is to investigate the roles of key account managers in the global logistics industry and the requirements to become such. This therefore demands a multifaceted and dynamic analysis as logistics companies have different concentrations and considerations based on the type of market they are focusing (whether trucking, automotive, delivery, freight forwarding, etc.).  For this reason, the researcher decided to use both quantitative and qualitative approaches as aforementioned.

3.4. Data Collection

A survey questionnaire shall be used in looking into why children below the age of six are being poisoned inside their homes. It would look at why it is prevalent, its connection with the educational attainment of the parents, and the reactions of the parents after poisoning has happened within the confines of their own homes.The results obtained from the answer of these participants have been compared and contrasted with that of the existing literature written about the topic at hand.

Fifty households who had an experience with poisoning shall be examined. It would look into the different factors affecting the prevalence of poisoning in Saudi Arabian homes, especially the children below the age of six. The results have been analyzed using the Pearsons correlation.

4.1. Demographics

            Of the fifty respondents, ___ are aged 21-29, ___  are aged 30-39, and __ fall under the age bracket 40-49. As to gender, ___  are female whilst ___  are male. These are either the mothers or fathers of children who had been poisoned. In the same manner, it also looked into the educational attainment of the respondents, believing that this is essential in looking into the incorporation of preventive measures into the homes of the people. ___  are college graduate while ___  have reached college.

            The survey shall also look into the ages of the children who had been victimized by poisoning. Since the respondents for this survey shall be chosen purposively, one hundred percent of the children are aged 0-6 years old. However, the survey revealed that ___ had children below the age of one, ____ are one year old children, ____  are two years old, ___  are three years old, _______ are four years old, _____ are five years old and the remaining _____ are 6 years old.

 4.2. Survey Results

           When asked about the causes behind the poisoning of their children, ___  say that the incident has been caused by household materials such as chlorine bleach, pesticides/insecticides and cleansers. On the other hand, ____  respondents showed that the poisoning has been caused by over dosage or the accidental ingestion of medicine. Lastly, ___ respondents say that the poisoning has been caused by the accidental ingestion of cosmetic products such as perfume.

The survey respondents reveal that the poisoning that occurred within the confines of their own homes had been accidental with ___ cases happening in the kitchen, ____ cases happening in the bathroom, ___ in the bedroom, ___ in the living room, _____  in other places such as the garden, the laundry room and the dining room. In these cases, ______ of all the incidences occurred since the substance was within the reach of the young children.

The results also revealed that in ___  cases of poisoning, an adult was not present when the children ingested the poisonous substances. However, the survey also showed that there were adults present during the ingestion of poisonous substances in the ____ other cases .

When asked how they reacted to the incident, ____ respondents administered first aid treatment to the patient and called the nearest hospital  whilst __ said that he did not know what to do due to panicking.

Upon reaching the hospital, ______ of the respondents say that the health institution reacted efficiently to the problems. However, the ___  also believe that although the government provides well for an efficient health care system, they believe that they are not caring for them in such a way that their homes are not being protected from the horrors of poisoning. In spite of the lack of government efforts, the respondents themselves are incorporating preventive measures into their homes without receiving from efforts from the government. The respondents also believe, however, that the government should provide efforts in providing the citizens with the necessary health education to ensure that they learn the proper way of preventing such accidents.

4.3. Discussion

            Clearly, the prevalence of poisoning in Saudi Arabian homes is due to the improper storage of household products that children below six are often tempted to taste them due to their explorative nature. Most of these products are ingested without an adult nearby. In cases where ingestion of poisonous substances happen under the supervision of an adult, the latter could either be busy doing something else or completely disregards the action of the child near him/her.

            The improper storage of the hazardous chemicals and substances are blamed upon the relatively low educational attainment of the parents of the victims. Those who had not been exposed properly to health education tend to store their hazardous substances. In the same manner, they are the ones who do not usually react properly to the fact that their children have already been poisoned. Instead of administering first aid treatment to prevent the aggravation of the problem, they tend to wait for the actions of a health institution.

            It would also show that the government in Saudi Arabia does not usually prioritize the development of measures in their hopes to prevent poisoning. In spite of this, however, they incorporate preventive measures on their own homes to make sure that the grave incidence would not happen again.

            Using the Pearsons Correlation Statistical Analysis, one could say that there is a positive correlation between the health education and its effects to the incorporation of preventive measures and the awareness to accidents.

List of Dummy Tables


Table (1): The distribution of study sample according to age groups

Table (2): Distribution of the respondents according to their sex:-



Table (3): Educational Attainment




Table (4): Ages of the Children who had been victimized by poisoning



Table (5): Causes behind the poisoning of their children


Table (6): Where the poisoning occured

Table (7): Presence of the adults during the accident



Table (8): Administration of First Aid Treatment?




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