Four children were hospitalised in a school in Deception Bay on Monday after ingesting what was believed to be a new type of ‘popping candy’.
Deception Bay North State School were faced with a toxic emergency after a 9 year old girl fed a poisonous campfire product to 25 of her peers. One of the students, Leilani Nanai was the first to try the product and told 612 ABC that “the girl who was giving it out had ripped the part of the packet where it said ‘fire’ to make it seem it wasn’t bad”.
After the product had passed through the hands of various students, children were left violently ill with reports of burning throats, nausea and stomach aches. Ambulance officers were rushed to the scene to treat the sick kids.
Upon further investigation in was later revealed that the children had ingested “Mystical Fire”, a novelty camping product that affects the colour of live fire.
Safety protocols followed
A spokesman from the Department of Education maintained that the school upheld the correct safety protocols stating that “the school followed the correct procedure and took immediate action to notify emergency services and parents”. Parents of the children who consumed the substance were contacted immediately and the afflicted youths were sorted into groups of “most affected” and “least affected”.
Fortunately for Steve Ball, his son was not involved in the incident, denying to put the “popping candy” in his mouth. “Eli was offered it,” Mr. Ball said, “but decided to throw it away because he did not know the kid giving it to him, he said it was wrong to take from strangers”.
The school’s principal, Pamela O’Loughlin released a statement on Monday claiming: “We really believe that child who brought this to school didn’t know what they brought.” Mrs. O’Loughlin said that the incident should be used as a learning experience, urging parents to be sure of what their children are taking to school and to pack their lunches carefully.
“The one message we would really like to get out to all of our students and their parents is to please be aware of what your children are bringing to school,” she said, “the other message we want to get out is for children to only eat what your parents put in your lunchbox and don’t take food from anybody else.”
Product labelling is an area for concern for a lot of Australian parents. Engaging graphics and imagery on products can be deceiving, especially for younger children. For further information on product labelling in Australia, refer to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission page.