Oklahoma Day Care Allegedly Gave Infants Benadryl

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Police in Bryan County, Oklahoma, are investigating a day care center whose employees said they gave Benadryl to infants as young as six months old to make them sleep.

KTEN reports that Jeff Wilson, an investigator with the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, said former employees of Sue’s Day Care in Texoma, owned by Beverly Sue Stair, told the Department of Human Services that Stair ordered them to give the children the drug. He said, “They’ve come and confessed to what was going on in the day care and all stated that they were ordered to give this by the owner.” He added, “We’ve been investigating Sue’s Day Care here in Durant for alleged child abuse charges for giving children Benadryl to assist them to go to sleep at time.”

Leslee Meade, whose six-month-old son was allegedly given Benadryl, was furious and said, “My heart sunk. What she was doing was messing with everybody’s lives. Had something happened, it would have changed everybody’s lives forever.”

Infants under the age of six months should not be given Benadryl; one side effect can be the cessation of breathing. Glenn Whelan, a doctor of pharmacy and assistant professor at the University of South Florida, said in 2011 that the drug should not be given before age two.

Cases of infant deaths in day care have been reported before, including at least five cases between 2000 and 2003, and another in 2013.


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