Children hospitalized after suspected fentanyl overdose at day care, according to deputies

DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. – Deputies in Kenansville, North Carolina are investigating whether two children who were hospitalized received fentanyl pills from a day care employee.

According to various news sources, including WCTI, Duplin County deputies responded to a hospital on Wednesday after receiving reports of two unresponsive children, indicating a potential drug overdose. Investigations revealed that both victims attended Lou Anna’s Child Care Center and had received what was initially thought to be candy from a day care employee. The parents suspected that the substance wasn’t candy after their children ingested the pills and turned over the remaining substances to authorities for testing.

Fortunately, after the North Carolina children were treated at the hospital, they were released.

As Emily’s Hope previously reported, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued an alert, cautioning about fentanyl closely resembling candy.

Courtesy: U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts

“The only thing more depraved than trafficking deadly fentanyl is trafficking deadly fentanyl designed to look like candy to appeal to teenagers,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

According to WITN, a sign posted at the day care center says no outside snacks are allowed “due to recent incidents that occurred.” The sign says that if parents want to celebrate a special occasion, they need to contact the director, who will purchase the items they’d like to share.

No one has been arrested, and authorities say the day care center is cooperating with the investigation.

Just a few months ago Emily’s Hope reported that one child died and three others were injured from suspected fentanyl poisoning at a New York City day care.

Across America, authorities are investigating a skyrocketing number of young children dying from fentanyl. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that fentanyl was involved in 94% of the deadly pediatric opioid poisonings recorded in 2021, compared to 5% in 1999. More than 5,000 children have died from overdoses involving fentanyl over the past two decades.