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Parents told to warn kids of risks after tablets scare


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Police confirmed they are investigating after the tablets, found on North Howard Court on Wednesday, were consumed by the children, both of whom are under eight years old. (Fiona Hanson/PA)

Police confirmed they are investigating after the tablets, found on North Howard Court on Wednesday, were consumed by the children, both of whom are under eight years old. (Fiona Hanson/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Police confirmed they are investigating after the tablets, found on North Howard Court on Wednesday, were consumed by the children, both of whom are under eight years old. (Fiona Hanson/PA)

Parents have been warned to talk to their children about the dangers of consuming unidentified substances after two young people swallowed tablets found outside their Belfast home.

Police confirmed they are investigating after the tablets, found on North Howard Court on Wednesday, were consumed by the children, both of whom are under eight years old.

The children were taken to hospital as a precaution and have since been discharged, while the tablets have not been identified.

A spokesperson for the Belfast Trust said while they could not comment on this specific incident, they "would of course urge anyone who has digested a substance which is suspected to be potentially harmful, to seek medical advice immediately".

Michael Owen, the Public Health Agency's lead for drugs and alcohol, said precautions should always be taken in similar circumstances.

"If a child or young person has swallowed an unknown substance, seek medical help urgently and without delay," he said.

"If they have any remaining substance that they haven't swallowed, remove it from them and safely bring this with you to the hospital as it may help to determine what they have taken."

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It is not always possible to be aware of a child's activities so parents should communicate with their children around the dangers of certain substances, Mr Owen said.

"We can't always be aware of what our children are doing when they are not with us, so I would encourage all parents and guardians to talk to them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Don't wait until there is a problem, talk to them now," he added.

"For younger children, keep it simple. Tell them not to swallow anything if they don't know what it is and even if someone that they know has given it to them, still don't take it.

"Young people will have lots of questions so make sure you take time to listen to them."

A PSNI spokesperson said: "Police received a report on Thursday of tablets being found in the North Howard Court area of north Belfast at around 5pm on Wednesday, April 21.

"It is understood that a number of children may have consumed these tablets. It is understood that they were taken to hospital as a precaution and have since been discharged."

The PHA has leaflets to aid parents in their discussion with young people/teenagers about drug and alcohol misuse which can be found at www.pha.site/YourChildandAlcohol and www.pha.site/YourChildandDrugs


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