Boy hospitalised after swallowing pills

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was called to Great Barrier Island to help (Noel Jones / Newshub.)
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was called to help (Noel Jones / Newshub.)

A 20-month-old boy had to be flown to Auckland's Starship Hospital from Great Barrier Island on Wednesday after accidentally swallowing around 50 pills.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was called to Claris around 7:20pm and flew the toddler and his mother to hospital. The boy was in a serious condition.

Paramedic Stefan Gabor said the boy had been left in a car by himself for a short period of time, NZME reports.

His mother discovered Nurofen pills and Clonazepam - used to treat panic disorders and seizures - were missing around 7pm.

She took him to the Claris medical centre where staff called the rescue helicopter.

Despite his serious condition, Mr Gabor said the boy was "happy" and enjoyed the flight.

"He was looking around, sitting on mum's lap with his toys in this hands," he told NZME.

A Nurofen overdose can cause symptoms including breathing problems and drowsiness.