BBC News and other major publications reported today of a US child who died from fentanyl kept under a nursery nap mat. Can you imagine your baby getting dosed with fentanyl in a nursery? It surely came as a shock and my heart goes out to the parents of the 1-year-old who lost his life in a NYC nursery.
So, what really killed him?
According to reports, police have revealed that the tragic death of a one-year-old child at a nursery in New York City was caused by fentanyl, which was concealed under a mat in the nap room while the child was sleeping. In other words, this daycare had narcotics and the kid slowly absorbed the drug and eventually died.
As a powerful synthetic opioid, it has been linked to many deaths over the past few years due to its potency and accessibility through the black market. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous and potentially lethal even when taken in small amounts.
The kid, Nicholas Dominici was pronounced dead a week after the suspected drug overdose.
Below is a video reporting the incident:
Were there other victims?
Three additional children were hospitalized after being exposed to the potent narcotic at the daycare center in the Bronx. Read about all arrests made in this NBC article.
What does this tell you about child safety at school?
Choosing the right daycare for your toddler requires careful consideration and discernment. Visit the facilities and get a feel ofthe environment. Most importantly, ask yourself if the daycare is taking appropriate safety measures and make sure to inquire about their drug policy. Additionally, it is important to keep an eye on your child’s behavior and health when they are enrolled in a daycare center or any other type of school as these facilities have a great responsibility towards the safety of minors.
Should I worry about playmates?
Based on the available reported information, it appears that the playmats themselves are not at fault. Rather, the hidden stash of drugs found beneath the mat seems to be the issue. Although the playmats may have appeared clean, it seems that they were not adequately dust-proof, thus allowing the dangerous fentanyl powder to permeate the mat. To address this concern, I would highly recommend the use of dust-proof mats crafted from non-toxic materials, preferably foam-based. These mats not only enhance safety but also ensure a higher level of cleanliness and protection.
Below is a picture of a mat that I highly recommend for daycare centers and even in kindergarten classrooms. This dust-proof floor mat is soft on kids’ knees and is among the cheapest.
You can choose your preferred color of course and can check its price on Amazon here.
How to keep your kids safe from drugs:
Whether prescription medication or illegal drugs, parents should always be aware of what their kids are taking. Monitor your child’s behavior, be aware of any sudden changes in personality, and look out for signs of drug abuse such as lack of sleep or disinterest in activities. Parents should also talk to their children about the dangers of drugs and ensure that they have access to resources if needed.
Make sure you store any drugs in your home in a locked location and dispose of them properly. Furthermore, it is important to keep communication open with your child so they feel comfortable talking to you about any issues or concerns they may have.
What to Do if a Child Is Exposed to Fentanyl.
FDA advises that if you suspect a child has been exposed to a fentanyl patch, it is important to take immediate action. If you have naloxone, administer it, call 911, and seek emergency medical help without delay. Early signs of fentanyl exposure may be difficult to detect in young children.
What makes Fentanyl Pose Serious Risk for Kids:
According to WebMD, fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It can be fatal in even small doses and poses a serious risk for children due to their smaller body size and weight, making them more susceptible to overdoses. Additionally, fentanyl exposure can occur through ingestion or skin contact, making it easy for young children to accidentally come into contact with the drug. Read this story on CNN here.
Moreover, identifying the symptoms of drug overdose or exposure in children can be challenging, as they may not be readily apparent. This makes it difficult to determine if your child is already experiencing adverse effects.
What’s the trend – Is Fentanyl a Serious Risk?
According to a recent report in JAMA Pediatrics, fentanyl overdoses have tragically claimed the lives of over 5,000 children and teenagers in the past two decades. Shockingly, more than half of these deaths occurred within the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. This surge in fatal overdoses involving fentanyl mirrors the disturbing trend seen in adults. The research underscores the urgent need for increased awareness and prevention efforts to protect our youth from the devastating impact of this dangerous drug.
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Sandra W. Bullock is a grand-mom to two boys and is part of the review board here at Motherhoodhq.com. She is responsible for the quality control of content and is among our most experienced moms. She has over 20 years of writing parenting content online focussing on baby safety indoors and outdoors. She has written widely on babyproofing nurseries and homes for infants and toddlers and published work on privacy and the safety of baby monitors. She is a renowned advocate for non-wifi baby monitors that cannot be hacked and spends a lot of time educating parents on how to secure their homes – including ways to secure the baby from harm in and around homes. Sandra is a native of Atlanta where she also works. She can be reached using her email, Sandra.w(at)motherhoodhq.com