A post urging everyone to be careful when treating kids stating that a mother used cough syrup from a drugstore to treat the cough of her four children and it was given to them mixed with milk avoiding bitterness, and the next morning the four children lay dead in bed, is circulating on social media including Facebook and WhatsApp.
Upon conducting a technical research by using Google Reverse Image technology, it was revealed that the image was originally posted on a SHARECHAT account of account holders in India.
Dr. Vishnu Sivapatham, Pediatrician of Batticaloa Teaching Hospital posted this story on his personal Facebook account on Monday 23.08.2021 stating that this message is fake and any medicine given for children mixed with milk would not be poisonous.
Further, when Professor Shalini Sriranganathan, (Professor in Pharmacology and Specialist in Paediatrics, Department of Pharmacology in Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo) was contacted to further confirm the veracity of this news, she commented as follows.
“Diluting liquid medicines with milk or fruit juice to avoid strong taste has been recommended by the “Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health as well as by other similar organizations. However, mixing milk is not suitable for all medicine as the process could reduce the absorption and minimize the beneficial effects of some medicines (e.g., iron supplements, tetracycline, etc). This information should be available on the medicine label. If parents are not sure, it is always advisable to consult a doctor or a pharmacist before diluting any medicine with milk or other food items. However, so far I have not found any evidence that mixing cough syrup with milk can be toxic.”
According to the technical study that was conducted regarding this news, we were able to discover that the same message was shared on Facebook in 2019 in many countries including India, Pakistan and Nigeria.
Other relevant links:
Emmy Mike Eyims, Shahul Hameed, Educare, माझी भरारी, Tawakalit Toyin, Community Health Journal, Udo Na Oganiru Orumba South, Grace News, “·٠• Aid For Living Trust •٠·”, Shyma Jumli
Similarly,other fact-checking organizations, including AFP Fact Check, have been reporting that the news was false from 2019 until this year.
Therefore, it is confirmed that the news does not relate to any recent incident in Sri Lanka and that the news that states “cough syrup can be poisonous when mixed with milk” is misleading news.