Paediatric Prescribing


Medicines are commonly used to improve the health of children. However, at times medications may be taken in toxic quantities either by accident (e.g. an incorrect dose or an unsupervised child) or intentionally (e.g. self harm, suicide attempt). At toxic doses medications can cause harm and even death. There are often steps that can be taken to alleviate this harm.

At times it may not be known that a toxic agent has been taken and it needs to be determined during the ABCDE assessment, e.g. a child with convulsions, a dry mouth and urinary retention who has accidentally taken their parents tricyclic antidepressant. 

Since 1998 it has been UK Department of Health policy that the first point of contact for poisons information for health professionals should be TOXBASE®. This database contains information on approximately 17,000 products, together with generic advice on the management of poisoning. It is available free of charge to registered NHS users.