Year: 2020 Source: Reviews in Clinical Medicine. (2020). 7(1), 15-19. SIEC No: 20200628

Introduction: Poisoning is the most common method of non-fatal suicide. In recent years, poisoning caused by the use of medications and chemicals has increased. The present study aimed to investigate the rate of suicide using toxic compounds in Iranian children.
Methods: This retrospective study was conducted using the data of 83 children aged 5-16 years who attempted suicide using toxic substances and were admitted to the pediatric and toxicology departments of Imam Reza Hospital in Mashhad, Iran.
Results: Among 500 suicide cases, 83 committed suicide using toxic substances, and 8.4% of the suicides were committed by children aged 5-7 years. In addition, 60% of the suicide cases were aged 14-16 years. In total, 45.5% of the children committed suicide with prior planning (statistically significant). The peak time of referral to the emergency department was between 6-12 PM, and more than 90% of the patients were admitted with stable vital signs. The most commonly used toxic substance was organophosphate. During admission, psychiatric counseling was not provided to 36.1% of the patients, and the clinical outcomes also showed the use of non-lethal doses.
Conclusion: According to the results, it is of utmost importance to assess the underlying causes of suicide attempts in early childhood (e.g., prior planning and antisocial behaviors), especially with the increased age of children to 14-16 years in such incidents.