Saturday, 31 July 2021

Couple angry after baby made ill by shrub berry

A BABY was taken ill after chewing a berry from a poisonous shrub in Henley town centre.

A BABY was taken ill after chewing a berry from a poisonous shrub in Henley town centre.

Armin Majoros, who is 17 months old, was taken to hospital with vomiting and diarrhoea following the incident on Tuesday last week.

His parents Szabi Majoros and Nicolette Ludanyi had stopped to rest in Market Place while walking through town with the youngster.

When they put him down he toddled over to the Japanese laurelplant (aucuba japonica), which is growing in a flower bed.

Before his parents could stop him, Armin picked up a berry which had fallen to the ground and put it in his mouth.

Mr Majoros, 30, took the berry out of his son’s mouth with his finger but he had already bitten into it. When the family returned to their home in Leaver Road half an hour later, Armin began crying inconsolably and clutching his stomach.

At first Mr Majoros did not realise it was connected to the berry. He took his son to his GP, who could not explain the symptoms.

But two hours later, he looked the plant up on the internet and saw it was poisonous.

Mr Majoros said: “It was lucky that we stopped him swallowing it as it could have been much more serious. I hate to think what could have happened. He became sick very quickly. We went home afterwards and put him to bed for a sleep but he started kicking and grabbing around his nappy area. He was really screaming, not just crying. It was horrible when we realised the berry was poisonous because you never know how it’s going to affect a child that small.”

He and his fiancée Miss Ludanyi, who moved to Britain from Hungary five years ago, called a taxi and took Armin to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Hospital in Reading.

They were seen immediately on arrival and doctors confirmed the boy had been poisoned and kept him under observation for the rest of the day.

Armin returned home that evening. He had a further fit of vomiting the following day but has since made a full recovery.

Mr Majoros said he had reported the incident to the town council but had been told no action would be taken. He said: “They blamed us for what happened. They now know the plant is poisonous but they have not done anything about it, even though it is in a public area.

“This is not just about my boy — it’s about all the children in Henley. I wouldn’t wish what happened to us on anyone else.”

The beds with the shrub in were built when Market Place was pedestrianised in 2003.

Town clerk Mike Kennedy said: “This is similar to many common plants, both cultivated and in the wild. Our supplier has therefore concluded that the use of this plant is safe in areas where the public may come into contact with it.”

The Royal Horticultural Society warns that eating the plant’s leaves or berries may cause “mild stomach upset”.

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