Goldfish may be the snack that smiles back, but a group of parents certainly weren’t smiling after their kids were exposed to THC-laced Goldfish at a home daycare.
According to Virginia police, home daycare owner Rebecca Swanner has been charged after three 1-year-olds consumed edibles while in her care, thinking they were regular Goldfish.
In a news release from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office Friday, officials said the tots’ parents first noticed their “lethargic and uncoordinated behavior” and “glassy, bloodshot eyes” before taking the children to Stafford Hospital Center. Hospital staff “quickly recognized” that the toddlers were suffering from THC exposure (THC is the active hallucinogenic chemical in cannabis), per the release, which they later confirmed through tests.
Police were called to the hospital and determined the common link between the three children was Swanner’s daycare center. Hours later, officials searched the 60-year-old’s home and found the snack near the toddler’s high chairs; testing confirmed that the crackers were, in fact, laced with THC.
After Child Protective Services was alerted, the daycare “voluntarily surrendered their license,” the report stated. Swanner turned herself in to police Thursday and was charged with 3 counts of cruelty and injury to children. She was released on a $2,000 unsecured bond.
Unceasingly, neighbors and other parents were stunned to hear the news. A neighbor told WUSA 9:
“I don’t know what to say. It’s just unbelievable hearing that.”
Another neighbor told the outlet Swanner has “had a daycare since we’ve known her – we moved in in 2000. Everything has always been above board so this is totally, totally shocking… outstanding reputation … as far as childcare goes in the neighborhood, she’s the go-to person.”
While it might be a nightmare situation for a parent, children getting into cannabis has been an increasingly more common situation. This year alone, 18 cases have been reported so far of children five and younger eating edibles as of the end of March.
The Public Health Educator for the States Poison Center, Fiorella Carhuaz, explained to NBC 12:
“We’ve seen an increase in children getting into cannabis or marijuana edibles… You should call poison control if you start noticing that your child has trouble walking, they’re not making a lot of sense, sometimes have trouble breathing, they start vomiting, even seizure. This is quite problematic because they can end up in the intensive care unit.”
Carhuaz said the rise in cases is due to more edibles not being put away the right way, explaining:
“All the children are seeing is a person eating a brownie and they will get to them. They will climb if they have to so locking things up is very important… There’s a two to three-hour window before children start showing symptoms of exposure.”
Keep your edibles in a safe place, y’all — especially if you run a daycare!
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