Drug groups shocked after toddler aged two 'swallows ecstasy pill'

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ANTI-DRUGS campaigners expressed shock yesterday as it emerged that a two-year-old girl had to be rushed to hospital after allegedly swallowing an ecstasy tablet.

The toddler started vomiting after taking the drug in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, last Sunday, it is claimed.

Her 29-year-old father has denied charges of child neglect and drug possession. The girl, who is not being named, spent the night at Yorkhill Children's Hospital in Glasgow recovering from the effects.

She is understood to have been at her grandmother's house with her father when she took a tablet, apparently thinking it was a sweet.

Her family are believed to live in Govan, which is blighted by drugs and violent crime.

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: "A two-year-old girl was taken to Yorkhill Children's Hospital on Sunday, 18 June after becoming unwell at a house in Uddingston.

"The girl was detained overnight for observation. A 29-year-old man was arrested and detained in police custody in connection with Section 12 of the Children and Young Persons Act and alleged drug offences."

The girl's father appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Monday and is expected to go on trial in September.

Gaille McCann, of Mothers Against Drugs, said: "What saddens me is how little hope I have of this little girl's chances of remaining drug-free for the rest of her life.

"She's only two and she is already in the thick of this drug scene. This is a disturbing case and one can only thank God that she survived."

Alistair Ramsay, of the drug consultancy, Drugwise, said: "This is one consequence of people using drugs - there's always a risk that youngsters will get their hands on them.

"Unfortunately, people who use drugs are often not the most responsible of people and there's always a risk their carelessness could prove fatal."

The problem of children being exposed to the dangers of drugs was brought into sharp focus with the death of two-year-old Derek Doran in December.

The toddler, from Elphinstone, East Lothian, became the UK's youngest victim of drugs when he died of a methadone overdose.

His mother, Lisa Dodds, 21, and father Derek Doran snr, 25, were later charged with murder and reckless endangerment. They are currently on bail awaiting trial.

The case led Jack McConnell, the First Minister, to call for an urgent review of Scotland's programme for administering methadone, a heroin substitute.

Earlier this year, an 11-year-old girl was treated for heroin addiction after collapsing from the effects of the drug at her primary school desk in Glasgow.

In 2003, a ten-month-old was rushed to hospital after he took an ecstasy tablet he allegedly found at his grandmother's home in Aberdeen.