The Mirror have reported a six-year-old boy drank drain cleaner, mistaking it for water – leaving him with horrific internal injuries.

Sonny Arthur, from the UK, ingested caustic soda from the heavy duty cleaning product just before Christmas.

His mother Vikki said “We are very careful parents, we’re not cavalier about anything.

“I told him not to go into the bathroom because I had cleaned it but I didn’t say don’t touch the bottle and of course he didn’t put two and two together – why would he?”

Dad Ian added: “I think it is a lesson for other parents that this can happen.”

“But he’s come through it and that’s the main thing.”

drain cleaner

She wrote on Facebook “Sonny’s consultant has confirmed he has significant narrowing of the oesophagus in two places as a result of the accident.

“As such they are going to start a course of aggressive stretching which will start in a couple of weeks and will continue until they are happy it will remain open.

“The gastrostomy [feeding tube] will probably be there for at least a year. This will be his life line to ensure he gets the nutrition he needs while he is unable to swallow properly.”

“It is a life-changing thing.

“His treatment will be for life. It is that serious.

“He was hooked up to all sorts of tubes, but he took it all in his stride, but we didn’t. It was just a complete whirlwind.

“At the moment he is still being fed through the tube, but he’s getting used to it.”

Definitely a sad reminder of how we need to be super careful with chemicals around the home.

Share your thoughts below.

Image via The Mirror.

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  • How scary. What a horrible thing to have to go through.


  • How awful it must have been for him and his parents. It just goes to show that you have to be so careful with children around cleaning fluids.


  • Surely there would have been a child proof cap on the bottle, but in any event it’s so important to keep poisons out of childrens’ reach.


  • Poor boy, so scary! Lucky he’s alive and will be okay.


  • A very important reminder for us all. Make sure all chemicals are away out of reach, keep kids out of rooms that are being cleaned with chemicals and never put them in a bottle that isn’t clearly labeled as poison. I hope he has a quick recovery


  • This would be so awful, even after you realise the error the damage is still happening.


  • Such a tragic accident and shows how easily these can happen. I hope he makes a full recovery,


  • What a tragic accident… poor little fella… how horrific for the family.


  • I wish him a speedy recovery.


  • accidents can happen in the blink of a eye, so lucky to be alive


  • Dangerous chemicals should always be locked away from children and also if they are old enough explain why they are locked away. I hope the little boy comes through this as well as possible


  • Such a tragedy and more than likely premanent damage.
    Sadly most parents probably leave products with toxins in them without thinking about it. Liquid soap at the had basin – it looks pretty. Bubble bath, soap (sodas and other chemicals in them are dangerous if swallowed), shampoos. Cleaning products in the laundry. Kids are still pretty young when they start to climb up and get to things.
    A girl I worked at had relatices in a country town that was serviced by Royal Flying Doctor Service. While her Mum was loading and putting the washin machine on, the little one pushed a chair and table over next to the fridge, hung onto it and reached into the small cupboard above it and got the panadol liquid. When her Mum searched and found her a few minutes later the little one was quite drowsy, then to her dismay she found the cough mixture on the floor lying on its side. The Mum contacted RFDS for instructions and was told what to give her to make her vomit. Bear in mind that some chemicals and medicines you don’t induce vomitting. THe RFDS call back 1/2 hour later to make sure the little one was OK. The Mum had been instructed to call again if she still had any concerns. The RFDS plane was out on Clinic Run, but would have been called back immediatel;y if necessary. Maybe all cupboards with chemical based products should be locked. Inconvenience is better than a disaster.


  • This is a terrible thing to have happened – my heart goes out to the whole family. As was mentioned, this will be an ongoing thing for life. My hubby has a constricted oesophagus and all the things he is unable to eat because of it – it’s unbelievable. Of course he is nearing 80, so says he can cope – but for a young man with his whole life ahead of him – I will pray that some new medical discovery will come soon for him. Just stretching hasn’t helped my hubby at all.


  • I feel so sad for him.


  • This can happen so easily and probably does happen quite often. They would feel so terrible but it was just one of those things we don’t realise until it’s too late. My thoughts are with them all


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