A mother has bravely shared the harrowing experience of how her four-year-old son, Albie, faced a life-threatening situation just an hour after consuming an iced slushy drink. Beth Green encountered a nightmare scenario on 13 October 2023 when Albie became unresponsive after a seemingly innocent outing to a bowling alley with a friend, as reported by LADbible.
The day started completely normally, with Albie and his friend indulging in a strawberry-flavoured slushy. However, within half an hour, Green noticed a drastic change in the young child’s demeanour. Initially tired and agitated, his condition took a terrifying turn for the worse after dropping off his friend. Albie began hallucinating and clawing at his face, a disturbing sight that left his mother deeply concerned.
Despite an attempt to satiate him with a visit to McDonald’s, Albie refused to eat his food, escalating his mother’s worry. The boy’s distress continued, with the young boy screaming “no” and “leave me alone” while in his car seat, alternately appearing alert and then going limp. Green, grappling with confusion and concern, speculated that Albie might have a virus causing his agitation.
Unresponsive and seemingly lifeless, Green then carried him into the hospital where medical professionals swiftly initiated life-saving measures, including resuscitation.
Recalling the traumatic incident, Green shared that there was a moment when she wasn’t even sure if Albie was breathing. The medical team worked diligently in the resuscitation room to stabilise him, administering rescue breaths as his heartbeat dangerously plummeted. After three agonising days in the hospital, Albie eventually recovered, but the diagnosis revealed a shocking cause: glycerol intolerance from the slushy.
This horrible episode, unfortunately, comes after Scottish mother Victoria Anderson revealed that her three-year-old son, Angus, also faced a life-threatening situation in January this year after consuming a slushy drink. Angus lost consciousness in her arms, prompting an urgent dash to the hospital for emergency medical attention.
In response to these recent incidents, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has cited high levels of exposure to glycerol as potentially causing shock, hypoglycemia, and loss of consciousness. Also referred to as E422, this ingredient is highly prominent in slush drinks as it stops the liquid from freezing, therefore saving the slushiness and acting as a sweetener that is also sugar-free.
Glycerol is generally low in toxicity and the amount in the icy drinks doesn’t harm adults or older children, but younger ones struggle to process it because of their lower body weight. According to medics, both boys suffered from glycerol intoxication after having their colourful slushies.
This reaction can bring on several symptoms, such as sweating, lethargy, irritability and a loss of consciousness among other things.
The FSA introduced new guidance specifically for slushy drinks in 2023 because of this dangerous additive, recommending that no one under the age of four be sold the drink.