A 4-year-old boy from New York City may have died after eating rat poison left in his apartment building by an exterminator. Juan Sanchez returned home from the park with his four young brothers on Sunday morning and reportedly began showing signs of illness a few hours later. The preschooler started foaming at the mouth and turning blue, according to a source. The child was rushed to the hospital but died shortly thereafter.
The only culprit Juan's mother could point to was rat poison that she said had been left in their apartment building by an exterminator two weeks ago. Cops are investigating her claims, and in the meantime, bits of info have popped up that make one question whether this tragedy could have been avoided.
This poor child fell sick after returning home from a trip to the park with his mom and four older brothers. At first, cops looked into the possibility that the preschooler might have suffered from alcohol poisoning. His 8-year-old brother told his mom he caught Juan taking sips from a bottle of malt liquor a neighbor had left out in the hallway. But traces of alcohol were not found in Juan's blood. After stating the boy's parents are not suspected of foul play, authorities have shifted their focus to the rat poison.
Juan's family live in a big apartment building in a heavily populated area in the Bronx. Tenants have reported seeing big rats in the complex, and it's common for residents to run into bags of rat poison they find around the building. Juan's mother, however, says she always told exterminators to NOT leave the poison in her apartment because she has small children.
It seems like mom and dad were doing everything they could to keep their children safe, and it's heartbreaking to think that factors out of their control may be to blame for taking Juan away from them. As parents, we are often aware of the many hazards present in our homes. We attach child-proof locks to cabinets containing chemicals and seal up all of our electrical outlets. But it's also important for us to be aware of the dangers that could arise as a result of our interactions with others.
We'd like to think our neighbors are thoughtful enough to empty bottles of alcohol before discarding them. We want to believe professionals, such as exterminators, are cautious not to leave poison in places that children can access. But the truth is: it's up to us as parents to be vigilant and aware of the potential dangers out there. We can't rely on anyone else to think of our children's safety first.
Our hearts go out to little Juan's family. No parent should be forced to deal with the heartbreaking loss of their child.
What are some dangers you've found in or around your home that you weren't aware of at first?
Image via William Ross/Flickr