Should parents be referred to Named Person over safe dose of cough syrup?

A mother has been warned by medical staff that she could have been referred to a Named Person for giving her son what was deemed a safe dose of cough medicine.

In a letter to The Scotsman she said even though paediatric nurses told her that her son was fine, and the dose was well within limit, she was warned, “never, ever do this again. We would have had to refer you for investigation under the new Named Person laws”.

She wrote to the newspaper to express her concern about the scheme.

She explained: “When I was ill as child my mother halved aspirins and mashed them with honey, and doled out quarter-spoons of adult cough syrup. She took pains with medicine. We all survived.

“Some weeks back, I did the same. At 2am, I’d given my toddler a quarter-measure of adult cough syrup (I’d run out of baby syrup). Immediately, I regretted it, panicked and drove my son to A&E at the Borders General Hospital in Melrose, fearing a paracetamol overdose.

“’He’s fine’, the paediatric nurses told me. ‘The dose was well within limit.’ But, they said, never, ever do this again. ‘We would have had to refer you for investigation under the new Named Person laws,’ they warned me, carefully”.

She said: “The idea I might now ‘face investigation’ or scrutiny over a safe dose of cough syrup? It horrifies me. Parents must be made aware of what the Named Person policy means. It means state surveillance of us as parents.

“Parents, not the state, are best placed to bring up their children”, she concluded.

Letter to The Scotsman submitted by: C Sharwood-Smith, Kirk Yetholm

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