The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) made a surprise announcement last night. They have banned a range of children’s medicines from being administered to the under six’s.
Amongst these products was Calpol Night, which contains a sedating antihistamine called diphenhydramine as one of the two main ingredients, the other being Paracetamol. Some 12 million packs of Calpol are sold in the UK every year, and Doctors have regularly advised parents to dose their children with Calpol. One Mother told The Daily Telegraph:
‘I use Calpol as a nightcap, like adults might have a brandy, if I give my 10-month-old daughter warm milk with a Calpol chaser, she goes down so much better for the night.’ Another advised me to administer a precautionary dose of Nurofen for Children when babysitting her one-year-old overnight.
Indeed the Doctors McCann, in a statement made on 6th September to the Portuguese Police, said:
“that before they left she took some precautions, namely she put the remedies inside a purse, in her room, inside the wardrobe or the dresser. These were medicines with the name of “Calpol” (paracetamol) and “Nurofen” (Ibuprofen), analgesics and antipyretic, for feverish states and pains in adults and children (liquid form for children) dosages. […] During their trips it was normal for them to take these medicines”.
It is the ‘everybody does it’ syndrome all over again, like leaving your children when you go out drinking with your friends, ‘everybody does it’, its ‘the British way’ according to Clarence Mitchell, ‘we’ve all done it’, according to ‘Richard and Judy’.
Not any more. At least the Great British public have now been told that it is not safe or acceptable to dope their children up for the night, can we now expect that the next piece of advice will be that it is not safe or acceptable to leave them at home in an unlocked house when we go out boozing with our mates?
Is this the news that Gordon Brown felt that ‘the British public needed time to prepare for’ at the Lisbon summit last year?