The owner of an early childhood centre in Invercargill, New Zealand, where a 4-year-old became grossly intoxicated says the girl consumed alcohol-based hand sanitizer and the center would not be using the product again.
Jackie Woodward, owner of the Woodhouse Early Learning Centre, has spoken of the “horrific” few days she and her staff have endured after the girl was hospitalized in a drunken stupor shortly after leaving the childhood premises.
The girl was picked up by her mother from the center at 5.30pm on Monday.
But the mother soon became alarmed at her behavior and rushed her to hospital, where she collapsed into a nurse’s arms and was later diagnosed as being intoxicated. Her alcohol reading was 188mg, nearly four times over the legal driving limit.
Woodward said they believed the girl had climbed onto a bookshelf and reached the hand sanitzser connected to the wall above while the on-duty staff member was putting on a load of washing in another room.
The mother has criticized Woodward’s staff for failing to pick up that her daughter was drunk.
Woodward, who has removed the hand sanitizer from its position and put it in a locked room, said she would not be using the product again, instead sourcing non-alcoholic hand cleaning products.
“I had no idea it was 60 to 70 per cent alcohol content.”
She was relieved the child was okay.