Toddlers fed turpentine claim: Mum in Facebook messages probe

Image source, Other
Image caption, Private messages are alleged to have come from an account linked to a former hospital worker

A former NHS worker is being investigated by police over claims she fed two toddlers turpentine to rid them of parasites.

The probe centres on private messages posted on a Facebook group in which it is claimed the substance was mixed with sugar and washed down with juice.

The unnamed mother who is under investigation used to work at Hull Royal Infirmary.

Police said there were "no immediate concerns" for the children's safety.

Private messages purported to have come from the mother's Facebook account advised on administering turpentine with "lots of juice after" to "rid candida" and other toxins.

Image source, Other
Image caption, The private messages were reported to Humberside Police

One message read "...every 2 weeks I give them 2 drops of turpentine with a teaspoon of sugar. I mix the turpentine and sugar with a tiny bit of water so that I can suck it up in a syringe to give them the dose".

The private messages claimed the children were "really well" after "passing loads of eggs hours later", but described the toddlers having "rashes, flu-like symptoms and diarrhoea".

"They had a slight temperature which went away after they had a poo. There was loads of eggs in it but [the child] was full of energy again. [The child's] symptoms always come back after a few weeks but [they're] fine after I give... the dose again."

'No health benefits'

Det Insp Rich Osgerby of Humberside Police said: "We opened an inquiry into the concern for the safety of two children reportedly being given turpentine.

"The case is still subject to an ongoing police and social services investigation, however we are satisfied that there are no immediate concerns for the safety of the children who are safe and well."

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said: "Turpentine has no proven, or conceivable, health benefit.

"We would advise people not to buy or use turpentine for the treatment of medical conditions."

A spokesperson for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health urged people not to administer turpentine "to children of any age, orally or otherwise" and said "medical advice should be sought immediately" if ingested.

Hull Royal Infirmary confirmed the mother was "a former employee" at the hospital.