It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to discover that their child has found and swallowed some pills or medicine. If you suspect this has happened, stay calm and don’t let the child get frightened. Call 999 and, while you’re waiting for help to arrive, find the box or bottle for the pills – plus any remaining ones – to take to the hospital and show the doctor.

NEVER make the child sick, as this may cause choking. but if they are sick spontaneously, try to collect a sample to take with you to the hospital. If the child is unconscious and not breathing, start resuscitation immediately! If the child is conscious, sit them in a comfortable position and give reassurance while you wait for help to arrive.

What are the signs and symptoms of a mild non-prescription medication overdose?

  • Flushed (red) skin or dry mouth
  • Ringing in the ears and trouble hearing
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Vomiting, or vomit that has blood in it
  • Hallucinating (seeing or hearing things that are not there) or having trouble talking clearly
  • Dilated (large) pupils, hyperactivity (unable to stand or sit still), or seizures
  • Dizziness or sleepiness, trouble breathing, confusion, or unconsciousnes

How is a severe of life-threatening non-prescription medication overdose treated? 

  • Anticonvulsants are given to stop seizures that may be caused by a medicine overdose.
  • Sedativesmay help keep your child calm and relaxed if he is upset or agitated (easily angered).
  • A ventilatoris a machine that gives your child oxygen and breathes for him when he cannot breathe well on his own




Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is described as an anxiety disorder. It’s estimated around 12 in every 1,000 people in the UK are affected by the condition. This equates to almost 750,000 people. OCD affects men, women and children. The condition typically first starts to significantly interfere with a person’s life during early adulthood, although problems can develop at any age.

The condition has two main parts: obsessions and compulsions


An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a person’s mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease. These obsessions are often frightening or seem so horrible that you can’t share them with others. The obsession interrupts your other thoughts and makes you feel very anxious.


A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought. The aim of a compulsion is to try and deal with the distress caused by the obsessive thoughts and relieve the anxiety you are feeling. However, the process of repeating these compulsions is often distressing and any relief you feel is often short-lived.

The causes of OCD:

Brain imaging studies have shown the brains of some people with OCD can be different from the brains of people who do not have the condition, for example, there may be increased activity in certain areas of the brain, particularly those that deal with strong emotions and the responses to them.

How OCD is treated:

With treatment, the outlook for OCD is good. Many people will eventually be cured of their OCD, or their symptoms will at least be reduced enough that they can enjoy a good quality of life.

The main treatments for OCD are:

  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – involving a therapy known as graded exposure with response prevention (ERP), which encourages you to face your fear and let the obsessive thoughts occur without “neutralising” them with compulsions
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – this medication can help reduce your symptoms by altering the balance of chemicals in your brain