Toddler eats rat poison at childcare centre

24th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

24 March 2006, BRUSSELS — Outrage has met revelations that an 11-month-old Ghent toddler ate rat poison at a city childcare centre earlier this week.

24 March 2006

BRUSSELS — Outrage has met revelations that an 11-month-old Ghent toddler ate rat poison at a city childcare centre earlier this week.

"The poison was just lying on the ground where children played. The caretakers are not guilty, but the management of the crèche has played with the life of our child in an unimaginable way," the father said.

The child ate the rat poison on Monday at about 3pm, but is not in a life threatening condition. However, he must be observed for five hours in hospital on a daily basis to monitor his condition.

"It takes 170 days before all the poison disappears out of his body and it remains guesswork whether long-term damage was inflicted," the father said.

The director of the childcare centre Bengelhof, Martin Seeuws, refused to comment on Thursday. "There is a judicial investigation. The police will determine whether the perception of people equates with the reality."
 
Flemish family services unit Kind&Gezin (Child and Family) is now investigating the case, but has already described it as "a very serious incident". It has started a procedure to annul the licence of the Ghent crèche.

Kind&Gezin official Leen Du Bois said it was "absolutely incomprehensible that someone placed rat poison in an area where small children play all day long".

However, Du Bois said it is not yet certain who put the poison there and how long it had been there and whether crèche personnel was aware of it.

A childcare centre can stay open if it loses its official 'recognition' from Kind&Gezin and only has to 'report' itself to authorities. However, it will lose its government subsidies.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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