10 drink windshield wiper fluid at day care in Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Ten children at a day-care center drank windshield wiper fluid after the owner served it from a container mistaken for Kool-Aid and placed it in a refrigerator, authorities said yesterday.
The day-care owner surrendered her state license yesterday.
Doctors estimate the children, ages 2 to 7, drank about an ounce of the blue fluid late Thursday afternoon before realizing it tasted wrong, said Laura James, a pediatric pharmacologist and toxicologist at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.
Only one child remained hospitalized yesterday in good condition, after blood samples showed "measurable levels" of methanol, a highly toxic alcohol that can induce comas and cause blindness, officials said. The day-care center also provided the fluid for testing.
The windshield wiper fluid was bought with several other items on a recent shopping trip, James told the Associated Press.
"This product was mistakenly grabbed and thought to be Kool-Aid and put in the refrigerator," she said.
The day-care center operator, Carolyn Bynum, was interviewed yesterday by child welfare investigators and gave up her license, said Julie Munsell, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services.
Bynum declined to comment to the AP.
"She was so upset about what had occurred and she was definitely worried some of the children had been injured," Munsell said. "It was just a mistake, she says. She says it was just a horrible mistake."