SweetiePills are made to look like sweets in order to encourage us to take them and sometimes they can be virtually indistinguishable from each other. For example Ibuprofen looks very much like a smartie. This is perhaps not surprising as it’s pink sugary coating has been added specifically to ‘sweeten the pill’.

Children overdose on all kinds of drugs. They can be at risk when visiting elderly relatives who keep their tablets beside the bed or on a kitchen shelf.

The more ubiquitous and appealing a drug the more likely children are to accidentally overdose on it and the most common culprit is paracetamol elixir or calpol. This pink syrup can be found in almost all homes with a child under the age of six, and is so familiar that people forget to treat it as a medicine, leaving bottles within easy reach of inquisitive children.

Go to the new version of this piece ‘Gretel’, made for BBC Horizon in 2009.