Children Sickened After Eating Contaminated Gummy Bears

Children Sickened After Eating Contaminated Gummy Bears

( – When parents send their younger children to school, they often send along snacks for them to eat during scheduled break times. Sometimes, the pupils decide to share these snacks with their friends. While the practice typically isn’t a big deal, one incident recently landed several elementary school kids in the hospital.

On December 12, seven kids at Central Elementary School in Amherst, Virginia, suddenly became ill and needed medical treatment. The fourth-graders had all consumed gummy bears brought by one student and began experiencing multiple symptoms, including headache, vomiting, nausea, and muscle spasms. In a press release, the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office noted that first responders transported five of the seven kids involved to the hospital.

The mother of one of the affected students, Hayden Floyd, posted an update on Facebook about her experience, noting how scary it was. She also said the school was very communicative and did the right thing.

Police began investigating the cause and found that the bag that held the gummy bears contained a residue. Lab analysis eventually tested positive for fentanyl. A preliminary investigation resulted in sheriffs obtaining a search warrant for a home, where they found enough evidence to arrest two people in connection with the children’s medical issues.

Authorities arrested both Nicole Sanders and Clifford Dugan and charged them with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Prosecutors also charged Sanders with Possession of a Schedule I or II drug, and Dugan faces a count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The Sheriff’s Office noted that the probe was ongoing and more charges could result from the investigation.

According to the New York Post, Superintendent William Wells said the hospital had released the children. But he cautioned parents during a news conference, “It’s here, and it’s real,” and asked them to “take charge.” Additionally, he noted that the incident was “not a school issue” and that the drug “came from somebody’s house.” The school has said it will discourage the sharing of food.

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