Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994

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Parliamentary Record 6


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 may recall the iron tablets she used to take when she was growing babies. They looked like Smarties. Mrs Padgham-Purich: No, I did not. I ate a proper diet. Dr LIM: They are shiny and look like lollies, and children in fact take iron tablets under the wrong impression that they are lollies. As members all know, iron tablets can become very toxic very quickly. Mrs Padgham-Purich: Simply say no to your children and put the tablets away. Dr LIM: You may not even be aware that they have taken them. Some tablets are even pleasant tasting and manufacturers need to consider the design o f these potentially toxic materials that are so attractive to children. Parents need to explain the need for care in handling medication. Not only do they have to say no to a child, they must also ensure that the child does not mimic pill-taking as if it were a game. Some o f my colleagues tend to over-prescribe, particularly medication such as antibiotics, with consequent bacterial resistance or even drug-induced diarrhoea and allergic reactions. Household cleaners and poisons are a danger if they are stored or placed within reach o f children, as are items that are stored under kitchen sinks for example. As the member for Nelson said earlier, parents need to be conscious about the places where they store materials and the containers in which they store them. There is nothing worse than a toxic fluid being stored in a soft drink bottle. Believing the liquid to be a soft drink, a child inevitably will attempt to open the bottle and drink its contents. Imagine a situation where a caustic liquid cleaning solution is kept in a lemonade bottle. A child could drink enough o f it to cause severe damage before the liquid began to burn. By that time, enough will have gone into the child for the liquid to cause reflex vomiting. From a pathological point o f view, the liquid burns as it goes down the gullet and burns again as it comes back up. Petroleum products are another common liquid kept in kitchens and kerosene is a prime example. M ost parents would react instinctively by making the child vomit the noxious liquid, but that is the last thing they should do. The correct treatment for the ingestion o f petroleum products is to avoid vomiting as the act often causes some leakage o f the liquid into the childs lungs. This produces a severe inflammatory reaction which leads, in turn, to pneumonia and its sequelae. The aspiration o f petroleum products into the lungs is often fatal. Child abuse is another matter the results o f which, as a medical practitioner, I witness often. Members have heard me speak on several occasions about the abusive males need to dominate his family, with the consequence that he inflicts psychological and physical trauma on his children. The problem is not only that trauma is suffered by the child, but also that the behaviour becomes imprinted in the childs mind and the behaviour pattern is so instilled that, when the child grows to be an adult, it will perpetuate that behaviour. However, there is no problem with chastising a child. Even giving a smack on the backside is not inappropriate. Nevertheless, may I request that parents be cold-blooded about it and not strike a child when they are angry or have lost their temper. 1823