Boy, four, hallucinated and clawed at his face after drinking slushy, mother says

The mother of a little boy is warning parents not to let their young children drink slushies after her four-year-old was rushed to hospital, ITV News' Martha Fairlie reports

A mother is calling for more warnings against slushies after her son started "clawing at his face, biting himself and hallucinating" after drinking one at a bowling alley.

Albie Pegg, four, was rushed through A&E after becoming lethargic, within hours he was "completely unresponsive," his mother told ITV News.

His mother, Beth Green said: "He had started hallucinating, he had started clawing at himself, biting me, biting himself, we could not comprehend what had happened to him.

"By the time we got to A&E he was a dead weight, I had to fire lift him in, just completely unresponsive."

"We were completely shocked ... he's this little energetic ball of fun really, to see him go that drastically bad in such a short space of time, it's heart breaking."

Albie is usually 'an energetic ball of fun' his mother told ITV News. Credit: Supplied / ITV News

Albie, who lives in Nuneaton, was in hospital for four days last year, with doctors "still stumped" as to what had caused his reaction when he was discharged, his mother said.

Months later his test results showed the additive glycerol in the slushy, which gives the drink its texture, had caused Albie's illness.

The best-known brand of slushy drink, Slush Puppie, has said its drinks do not contain glycerol.

The drinks should never be consumed by children aged four or under, Professor Robin May from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said.

He added that the amount of glycerol consumed should be limited in all children under 10, as a large quantity of the additive can have adverse effects in small bodies.

"The issue is if you consume a lot of glycerol, fast, particularly if you're relatively small ... That can lead water to rush into your blood vessels essentially to compensate," he said, comparing the experience to dehydration.

Children's bodies cannot cope with glycerol as quickly as normal sugars in the blood, and in extreme cases can cause shock, low blood sugar and lack of consciousness.

Albie and his mum Beth Green speak to ITV News. Credit: ITV News

Ms Green said more obvious guidance is needed to warn parents against the side effects of young children drinking slushies.

She said while there was a sign on the opposite side of the bar at the bowling alley, the people serving the slushies did not ask how old Albie and his friend were.

"There should be checks there should be someone trained to be pouring the slushy," she said.

"With the glycerol, especially with sugar free slushies they do it based on the consistency and to achieve the sweetness.

"If you add too much or too little, or however they mix it on the day just depending on the day, it could have resulted in Albie's life being taken, which was just heartbreaking."

Around 50 million slushy drinks are sold in the UK each year, according to the FSA, and there were five cases similar to Albie's in the last three years.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…