A mother shares her harrowing experience of fearing for her son’s life when he collapsed and lost consciousness after consuming an iced slushy drink. Beth Green, a 24-year-old resident of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, encountered every parent’s nightmare when her four-year-old son, Albie, became unresponsive after school last year. Albie, a reception pupil, had been enjoying a game of bowling with a friend when they both indulged in a small strawberry-flavored slushy.
Half an hour later, Beth noticed that Albie seemed “tired and agitated” while sitting in the back seat of the car. This incident follows Scottish mother Victoria Anderson’s revelation about her three-year-old son, Angus, who nearly lost his life in January after consuming a slushy. Angus collapsed unconscious in her arms and had to be swiftly taken to the hospital.
Beth Green, a 24-year-old resident of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, disclosed that her unconscious child was hospitalized, and she feared for his life just an hour after he consumed an iced slushy drink.
Beth became increasingly alarmed when Albie began experiencing hallucinations and clawing at his face, prompting her to quickly rush him to the hospital.
In October, Beth became increasingly alarmed when Albie started experiencing hallucinations and clawing at his face, prompting her to rush him to the hospital. After falling unconscious, medical professionals began resuscitating Albie as his blood sugar levels dropped dangerously low. At one point, Beth and her partner Fred Pegg, 24, feared for their child’s life as Albie’s heartbeat slowed to an “extremely slow” rate, with a doctor noting that if they hadn’t brought him in, it could have been fatal.
Months later, they discovered that Albie had suffered from “glycerol intolerance” after consuming an iced slushy drink. In August 2023, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued new voluntary industry guidance on glycerol in slush-ice drinks, advising against selling them to children aged four and under. The government body warns that at very high levels of exposure, glycerol intoxication can lead to shock, hypoglycemia, and loss of consciousness.
Reflecting on the incident, Beth recalled, “It was a Friday after school, and we took Albie and his friend to a bowling alley. He had enjoyed slushies there before. Albie did indulge in slushies frequently during warmer weather, but it wasn’t a constant thing; it was just a nice little treat for him.”
Beth encountered every parent’s worst nightmare when her four-year-old son, Albie (pictured), became unresponsive after school last year.
Upon losing consciousness, medical personnel immediately initiated resuscitation efforts for the child as his blood sugar levels dropped to dangerously low levels.
Beth and her partner, Fred Pegg, 24, (shown on the right), were terrified that their child would not survive as Albie’s heartbeat slowed to an “extremely slow” rate. A doctor emphasized that if they hadn’t sought medical attention, it could have resulted in a fatal outcome.
Months later, the parents were told Albie had suffered ‘glycerol intolerance’ after slurping an iced slushy drink
“He and his friend both had their kids’ slushies, and afterward, he seemed happy and excited. Around 4:15 pm, he started to become a bit tired and agitated, losing interest in playing. We initially attributed it to fatigue from a long week at school. Once in the car, he kept mentioning how tired he was. He struggled to stay awake; his head kept drooping.
“We decided to stop at McDonald’s, thinking perhaps he needed a boost. However, he refused to eat his food. After dropping off Albie’s friend at home, Beth and Fred noticed their son displaying unusual behaviors, such as scratching himself and appearing to hallucinate.
“Beth recounted, ‘It was a really strange experience. He kept yelling ‘no’ and ‘leave me alone’ from his car seat. He would scream and then suddenly go limp.’”
Albie’s father, Fred, joined in as the couple contacted Albie’s grandmother, who recommended taking him to the emergency room (A&E) for a check-up as his condition deteriorated.
Albie was then transported by ambulance with blue lights flashing from The George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, to the high-dependency unit at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire as he remained in a state of fluctuating consciousness.
According to the government body, exposure to very high levels of glycerol can lead to shock, hypoglycemia, and loss of consciousness.
Albie was admitted to hospital for three days before his condition stabilised and he was able to be brought back home (pictured with mother Beth)
“I initially thought maybe he had a virus and was feeling agitated, but then he began clawing at himself and couldn’t stay awake. He wasn’t responsive.” Concerned about his worsening condition, the couple called Albie’s grandmother, who recommended taking him to the emergency room (A&E) for a check-up.
Beth recounted the harrowing experience, stating, “At this point, I can’t even remember if he was breathing. He was completely limp when I carried him through the door, unconscious. Despite their efforts to shake him awake, he didn’t respond. They immediately took him to the resus room, where they had to administer rescue breaths since he wasn’t breathing on his own, and his heartbeat was dangerously low. They had to resuscitate him. We were completely in the dark about what was happening. Initially, they suspected sepsis or an infection, so they treated him for everything. They even asked if there was any possibility he could have been exposed to drugs or insulin.”
She continued, “The leading consultant informed us that if we had taken him home instead of bringing him to the hospital, he would not have survived. It was an extremely frightening realization.” Albie was then transferred by ambulance from The George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, to the high-dependency unit at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire as he drifted in and out of consciousness.
Beth added, “We didn’t know if he would survive the night; it was a nightmare. Due to his critically low blood sugar levels, there were concerns that he might be diabetic or have a hereditary disorder.” Albie remained hospitalized for three days until his condition stabilized, and he could return home.
Following further evaluations at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Beth and Fred received the diagnosis that Albie’s episode was likely triggered by glycerol intolerance from consuming a slushy drink. Beth expressed her shock at discovering that a drink marketed towards children could provoke such a severe reaction. She advocated for raising the recommended age for consuming these iced drinks to 10, believing that they pose a significant risk to younger children.
Beth’s ordeal comes after another mother, Victoria, from Port Glasgow, experienced a similar scare with her three-year-old son, Angus. Angus collapsed and lost consciousness approximately 30 minutes after consuming a raspberry-flavored slushy, prompting a frantic response from Victoria and emergency services due to dangerously low blood sugar levels.