Warning no pill packets are child-proof

  • 20/01/2017
Nurofen is a branded form of ibuprofen (Getty)
Nurofen is a branded form of ibuprofen (Getty)

Parents are being reminded to keep painkillers away from sticky-fingered children.

The warning comes after 20-month-old was flown to Starship Hospital in a serious condition after swallowing around 50 ibuprofen tablets.

He had been left in a car by himself for a short period of time. His mother soon discovered her Nurofen and clonazepam - used to treat panic disorders and seizures - were missing.

Safekids Aotearoa director Ann Weaver says painkillers are intriguing to children, as they look like lollies.

"Children can't identify what's dangerous for them, so they mistake them sometimes as sweets or foods they might particularly like. It's up to the adults in the household to protect their children."

Contrary to belief, she says there's no such thing as child-proof packaging.

"One minute you might think that it might be at the back of the bench and you don't think your child can reach it, but then the next minute he can actually climb up and get into it quite easily."

Paracetamol and ibuprofen are the number one substances which hospitalise children.

Despite seriousness of the situation, paramedics said the boy who swallowed the pills on Wednesday was "happy" and enjoyed the rescue helicopter flight.