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Paracetamol overdoses in Children and young Adults

On September 26th, the MSE ICB Safeguarding Team were made aware of a concern regarding children taking a large number of paracetamol tablets, not enough to complete suicide, as the emerging encouragement on social media is to have the longest stay in hospital. Whilst the initial concern has been raised via Norfolk and Waveney there have also been similar concerns raised in other parts of England as part of social media encouragement and enablement forums. 

The MSE ICB Safeguarding Team want to ensure that there is an awareness across all provider services locally and support a collaborative approach to the management of this risk and that as a system we take a proactive approach in the management of young people who are known to have suicidal ideation and ensure that all risk assessments are considered and the possible links to this, including social media platforms and how these could increase the risks are explored.


  • Concern regarding the use of Tik Tok via social media to share details of taking staggered paracetamol overdoses.

  • Possible meet up places for children and young people to get together to talk about potential suicide pacts.

  • Information being shared about this in a Whats App/Tik Tok suicide pact group.

Action so far

The Head of Nursing and Quality and Safeguarding NHSE has shared this with the MSE ICB and a Safeguarding Alert has gone out to Mental Health providers across the MH network.

You will be pleased to hear that the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has developed a working group to look at the volume of emerging methods from online spaces that are causing harm to children and young people.

Whilst it is early days for the forum it is hoped that the work coming out of this group will be in relation to the mitigation of risk in the future.

Please do share this within your internal communication systems including adult services as the young people involved may be over the age of 18 years.

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