Germ-X 'dare' sends 7-year-old to hospital

Germ-X 'dare' sends 7-year-old to hospital

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - A Paragould mother said she is upset with the school district her daughter attends after she was "dared to drink Germ-X" while in class at Paragould Primary School.

"I understand kids will be kids but where was the supervision?" Betty Thaxton told Region 8 News.

Thaxton explained that her 7-year-old daughter was taken to a local hospital for drinking an alcohol-based Germ-X. Her daughter was taken to the hospital for having a "high alcohol level". She said her daughter was also given a cookie to "cover the taste" of the alcohol.

The child has since been released from the hospital.

The mother said her daughter was not responsive when she arrived at the school at 3:35 Thursday afternoon.

"I about collapsed myself...because I've never had anything like that happen and I was scared," Thaxton said.

She said her daughter was "lifeless" when she arrived at the hospital.

"If she would have consumed more, I don't think she would have made it," Thaxton said.

Thaxton also said the Department of Human Services was looking into the case.

Debbie Smith, superintendent of Paragould School District, said the incident happened near the end of the school day. Once it happened, a staff member took the girl to the nurse.

Thaxton said her main concern is how this happened.

"Why is Germ-X allowed to be where kids can access it," Thaxton said.

Smith acknowledged that Germ-X has become a staple in classrooms everywhere.  "It's a double edged sword," Smith added.

She explained that hand sanitizers, like household cleaning items, are dangerous to ingest.

"T his is one of those though, it's not locked away like bleach would be at a home, it's actually out in the environment to help protect from the spread of germs," Smith said.

Regardless, Smith said all alcohol-based Germ-X bottles have been locked up in the school and replaced with non-alcoholic bottles. Smith also said the district sent letters to parents of children at the school.

Smith and Thaxton agree though, this will have to become something teachers and parents warn children about.

"W e talk to kids about stranger danger and what to watch for," Smith said. "This will just be another thing that we talk to the kids about."

"That's my main concern is all the children," Thaxton said.

Thaxton's daughter was released from the hospital around 4 p.m. Friday. She's doing fine.

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