1 child dead, 3 children hospitalized after suspected fentanyl exposure at New York daycare

By | September 18, 2023

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a 24/7 national helpline for people with substance abuse problems and their families. The hotline, which offers assistance in English and Spanish, can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). To find behavioral health treatment services, visit The SAMHSA website.

An infant died and three other children, including an 8-month-old, were hospitalized after an apparent opioid exposure at a New York City daycare, police said.

In a press conference with New York Mayor Eric Adams, New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said officers received a 911 call just after 2:40 pm on September 15 for “deprived children of senses” at the Bronx nursery.

Officers found two boys, at least one 2-year-old, and an 8-month-old girl unconscious and “exhibiting symptoms of opioid exposure,” Kenny said., adding that Narcan was administered to all three.

After being taken to Montefiore Medical Center, Kenny said one of the boys was pronounced dead on arrival, while the boy and 2-year-old girl remain in the hospital.

According to Kenny, that day around 12:15 pm, another 2-year-old boy had been taken away from the same daycare. The chief of detectives said the boy’s mother noticed he was acting “lethargic and unresponsive.”

Kenny said the boy was admitted to BronxCare Health System, where he was given Narcan and “his life was saved.”

NYPD executed a search warrant at the daycare and found a “one-pound press,” which Kenny said is “commonly used by drug dealers to package large quantities of drugs.”

According to Kenny and New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Ashwin Vasan, the home-based day center was licensed by the state and last underwent a surprise inspection on Sept. 9. Vasan said no violations were found at that time.

The commissioner said the day center opened in January and was inspected twice during the opening to obtain its license. At no time did the authorities find any violations, he added.

The investigation is ongoing, Adams said.

“We’ve heard a lot about fentanyl,” Vesan said. “We have prioritized the overdose crisis in this administration’s mental health plan because we know it affects everyone. And tonight, that was brought home. A young child, who we do not believe may be at risk for interaction with opioids, came into contact with a potent substance that can, through inhalation, ingestion or skin contact, intoxicate the recipient.”

Adams called the tragedy a “real wake-up call for individuals who have opioids or fentanyl in their homes.”

“Mere contact is deadly to an adult and extremely deadly to a child,” he added.

NBC News reported that Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, and Grei Mendez, 36, were arrested on the night of Saturday, September 16 on multiple charges, including murder, manslaughter, assault, criminal possession of a controlled substance and drugs and danger to well-being. of a child of Nicholas Dominici, 1 year old, who died in kindergarten.

Brito and Mendez’s relationship with the daycare was not immediately known, and it was not immediately clear whether they have attorneys representing them, NBC News reported.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, early signs of fentanyl exposure in young children can be difficult to spot, even if drowsiness is reported.

Other symptoms of fentanyl exposure in children include:

If a person suspects a child has been exposed to fentanyl, the FDA says to call 911 and seek emergency medical care immediately. If the person has naloxone, the FDA recommends giving it while waiting for help.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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