Thousands of kids accidentally posioned

  • 15/07/2015

Thousands of Kiwi kids have been hospitalised after they were inadvertently poisoned by eating something they shouldn't.

Children chowing down on medicines, silica gel and black nightshade berries accounted for most of the 2499 cases of poisoning that resulted in hospital care between 2006 and 2013.

Ingesting poison was the most common way children find themselves in the emergency department, making up more than 90 percent of all cases.

Safekids Aotearoa director Ann Weaver said four out of five cases were with children under five years old.

"Children under five years old are naturally inquisitive, and learning by exploring their environment is an important part of a child's development," she said on Wednesday.

"Children rely on adults to ensure their safety and wellbeing."

The group said the leading ways children are poisoned is when kids copy adults taking medications, when chemicals are kept in the wrong container, medications are mistaken for lollies and they're not properly stored.

Exposure to poisons through the eyes, skin or through bites and stings accounted for just five percent of all cases.