An Oklahoma daycare center has been shut down following allegations its employees gave children Benadryl to put them to sleep.
Multiple employees of Sue’s Day Care in Durant have come forward to say they were directed to do so by the center’s owner, Beverly Sue Stair.
Jeff Wilson, an investigator with the local sheriff’s office, told KTEN that his office had opened an investigation into Sue’s Day Care (which has been in business for over 20 years), and he is recommending that the Bryan County District Attorney’s office file charges against the owner.
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A former employee contacted Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services (DHS), alerting them about the use of the drug to put children to sleep. Other employees then came forward to confirm the practice.
So far, seven children have been identified as victims, including a six-month old, Hendricks. His mother, Leslee Meade, noticed when her son would come home from the center that he was behaving “way out of his norm. Normally he is playful and active,” but he only wanted to sleep.
Benadryl “can cause small children to stop breathing. None of the children are thought to have sustained serious injury,” according to KPIX.
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“What [Beverly Sue Stair] was doing was messing with our lives. Had something happened, it would have changed everybody’s life forever. It would have taken away something that could never be gotten back,” said Meade.
Sue’s Day Care will remain shut down, pending the outcome of the DHS investigation.
TODAY conducted an online poll in 2011 “which found that one in five admitted to giving their children medicine such as Benadryl or Dramamine to get through a big event, like a long car ride or plane trip.”
“I suspect that one in five is low,” said Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, who says parents should talk to their pediatricians about proper dosage. (She adds that every doctor she knows who’s also a parent has tried this trick at some point, so don’t feel shy about telling your doctor).
“The biggest risk is overdose or an adverse reaction,” Snyderman added.
“Every day is not OK. Drugs are never an OK substitute for parenting,” the doctor said. “If a mother is drugging a kid that much, it’s a parenting issue.”
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