Poisoning of children aged 0-4 years from nonmedicinal substances is very rarely a cause of death in Australia. Although poisoning from such substances is a common cause of admission to hospital for this age group, few cases require any surgical or other procedures and length of stay is almost always very short. The incidence rate of poisoning of preschoolers from nonmedicinal substances, based on hospitalisation, was higher in the country than in the city, particularly from rodenticides and 'other plants', but also from detergents, shampoos, other cleaning and polishing agents, petrol, etc. This is the first time such differentials have been reported in the medical literature. Rodenticide poisonings are discussed in some detail as they are common and potentially severe.