The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has warned against selling children slushies due to an ingredient called glycerol.

The food and drinks agency said that children can become sick from consuming too much of this ingredient and said retailers should stop 'free refill' promotions for under-10s.

This warning was revealed in new voluntary guidance issued by the FSA after the regulator assessed the risks involved with the ingredient.

It said that glycerol, which is a substitute for sugar in slushies, can cause headaches and sickness in young children.

This warning comes after two children in Scotland were hospitalised because of "glycerol intoxication" in 2021 and 2022.

When high levels of glycerol are consumed, such as when a child drinks several slushies in a short space of time, glycerol intoxication can cause shock, low blood sugar and loss of consciousness.

The FSA said that because these effects are linked to body weight, children over the age of 4 are unlikely to be affected.

Adam Hardgrave, FSA Head of Additives, said: "While the symptoms of glycerol intoxication are usually mild, it is important that parents are aware of the risks - particularly at high levels of consumption.

"It is likely that there is under-reporting of glycerol intoxication, as parents may attribute nausea and headaches to other factors.

"We are grateful to those manufacturers who have already taken steps to reduce levels of glycerol, and to those who have already told us they will be adopting our new guidelines."