Health & Lifestyle

Revealed: Why iced slushy drinks can be dangerous for children after TWO infants almost die within the space of a week

They’re universally loved by children.

Yet slushy based ice drinks can be dangerous — so much so that regulators advise they shouldn’t be sold to children under the age of four.

A fresh spotlight has been shone on the safety of the drinks following the news that two infants, one aged three and the other four, were hospitalised after consuming them.  

In both cases, doctors blamed glycerol, an additive lurking inside the child-friendly drinks sold at cinemas, shops and play parks. 

FSA chiefs based their recommendations on a 350ml-sized drink, similar to ones available in shops and cinemas across the UK

FSA chiefs based their recommendations on a 350ml-sized drink, similar to ones available in shops and cinemas across the UK

Glycerol, or E422, gives the drink that desired slushy effect, stopping the iced drinks from freezing solid and acts as a sugar-free sweetener.

While mildly toxic to humans, the amount typically contained in slushies is so small that regular consumption poses little danger to adults and older children.

Their bodies can process it before glycerol levels build up and become a problem, causing intoxication.

However, the same isn’t true for younger children.

Because of their much lower bodyweight, the amount of glycerol needed to spark a serious health emergency is much smaller.

Just one 350ml drink with the highest levels of glycerol used could theoretically tip under-4s over the ‘safe’ threshold.

But health authorities claim the more likely scenario of glycerol intoxication comes from younger kids consuming multiple E422-laden drinks quickly.

Mild signs of glycerol intoxication include vomiting and headaches.

However, it can send people into shock, where the circulatory system that pumps oxygen rich blood around the body starts to fail, depriving vital organs of what they need to function.

Signs of shock include having pale, cold, clammy skin, as well as sweating, rapid or shallow breathing, weakness or dizziness, nausea and possible vomiting, extreme thirst, and yawning and sighing.

Hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar, is another effect of glycerol intoxication.

Symptoms include, hunger, dizziness, feelings of anxious or irritability, sweating, shaking, tingling lips, heart palpations, fatigue and weakness, blurred vision and confusion.

At its most serious stage, hypoglycaemia can lead to fits and a loss of consciousness.

Beth Green, 24, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, has revealed her unconscious tot was hospitalised and feared he'd die an hour after downing an iced slushy drink

Beth Green, 24, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, has revealed her unconscious tot was hospitalised and feared he’d die an hour after downing an iced slushy drink

Beth grew increasingly concerned when Albie started 'hallucinating' and 'clawing at his face' - prompting the mother to rush him to hospital

Beth grew increasingly concerned when Albie started ‘hallucinating’ and ‘clawing at his face’ – prompting the mother to rush him to hospital

Shock and hypoglycaemia can be life threatening and are considered medical emergencies requiring urgent medical care.

Two recent cases have highlighted just how dangerous glycerol intoxication can be.

Beth Green, 24, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, four-year-old son became unresponsive after drinking a strawberry-flavoured slushy at an after-school bowling trip in October last year. 

She grew increasingly worried after Albie started ‘hallucinating’ and ‘clawing at his face’ – prompting her to rush him to hospital.

There medics had to start resuscitation as Albie’s blood sugar levels had dropped to dangerously levels. 

At one stage his heartbeat became so slow his parents thought he would die.

Medics later told the pair if they hadn’t rushed Albie to hospital there and then he would have died.

Beth’s account came just days after Scottish mother Victoria Anderson shared how her three-year-old son Angus almost died in January after drinking a slushy just last month. 

The 29-year-old, from Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, had taken her youngest son, three-year-old Angus, and an elder sibling out shopping on January 4. 

Not long after the trio ventured out, Angus requested a raspberry-flavoured slushie after spotting the bright, pink-coloured ice drink while in a local corner shop.

Unaware of the danger Victoria purchased the drink for her son, who had ‘never had a slushie before’. 

Approximately 30 minutes later, while in another store, the three-year-old unexpectedly collapsed and fell unconscious.

Victoria said Angus’ body was limp and ‘stone cold’ as paramedics rushed to the scene and attempted to revive him after his blood sugars became dangerously low. 

Angus was sped to Glasgow Children’s Hospital, where he remained unconscious for two hours. 

Both children thankfully got the medical care they needed. 

The cases come months after British food safety regulators issued guidance that slushy drinks should not be sold to children four years of age and under.

A mother has issued an urgent warning over the sale of slushies to children after her toddler son suffered a 'fit' before falling unconscious after sipping on the iced beverage

A mother has issued an urgent warning over the sale of slushies to children after her toddler son suffered a ‘fit’ before falling unconscious after sipping on the iced beverage

Mother Victoria Anderson, 29, with father Sean Donnelly, 29, and their sons Angus (left), 3, and Archie (right), 5

Mother Victoria Anderson, 29, with father Sean Donnelly, 29, and their sons Angus (left), 3, and Archie (right), 5 

The Food Safety Agency (FSA) also advised that retailers shouldn’t free refills on slushies to children under-10.

It also asked manufactures of slushies to commit to only add the bare minimum of glycerol to their products.

In that guidance, published in August, the FSA said it would be ‘monitoring’ how widely industry followed its advice and left the door open to taking more action in the future. 

Most slushies in the UK do not detail the levels of glycerol on their drink packaging but the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) say all their members have followed the new guidance.

The FSA advice was based on a slushy containing 50,000mg/l of glycerol.

Its alert was sparked by two previous cases of glycerol intoxication in Scotland, one in 2021 and 2022.

At the time the FSA added that mild cases of glycerol intoxication in children, which don’t produce such dramatic life-threatening symptoms and instead result in just nausea and headaches, were likely going unreported. 

Glycerol is also added to the likes of precooked pasta, rice and breakfast cereal but in much lower quantities and therefore isn’t considered a hazard to children. 


Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celeb News

Daily M

Related posts

Countries with the highest mortality rates from these common causes of death revealed – and the United States makes the top 10

BBC Brk News

MAGA Goop! Introducing the new far-right wellness website that sells $299 covid ‘treatments’ and says vaccines cause cancer

BBC Brk News

Person in Georgia dies from brain-eating amoeba after swimming in freshwater lake – becoming second US victim in two weeks

BBC Brk News

Leave a Comment