Mum claims 6-year-old overdosed on school-administered ADHD meds

WOONSOCKET, RI (WPRI) – A Woonsocket mother is seeking answers after claiming her 6-year-old son overdosed on ADHD medication at school earlier this week.

Gianna Read tells 12 News that due to her family’s routine, her son’s medication is usually administered by a school nurse after he has eaten.

Read said her son had been receiving his medication at Harris Elementary School for about a week and a half before the incident.

Read said she got a call from her son’s afterschool program at the Woonsocket YMCA on Tuesday. The staff claimed that her son would not calm down and asked her to pick him up.

When she arrived, she tells 12 News she was shocked by her son’s condition.

“He had muscle stiffness all over his body,” Read recalled. “He wasn’t really responding. All he said was no, it was like he was having a panic attack.

“His lips were gray. His mouth was very dry,” she continued. “Something was seriously wrong, so we called 911.”

Pawtucket YMCA CEO Charles Clifford confirmed the incident to the Woonsocket branch, adding that “the child refused to leave our bus when he arrived from elementary school.”

“After reluctantly leaving the bus, once inside, the child began to act erratically, endangering both himself and those around him,” Clifford said in a statement. .

That’s why Clifford said staff immediately stepped in and contacted Read.

“The YMCA of Pawtucket is committed to the health and well-being of all children in our care and wishes the child and his family well,” he added.

Read shared the summary of his son’s hospital visit with 12 News, in which the doctor says the child “probably received too much” of his ADHD medication, which is a liquid given by oral route.

“It was a diagnosis of overdose, or given accidentally,” Read said. “How accidental, I don’t know.”

Read believes her son’s medication was given to her incorrectly and she is now seeking answers not only from the school, but also from the Rhode Island Health Department and the Woonsocket Police Department.

Joseph Wendelken, spokesman for the Department of Health, said the agency “is aware of the concerns raised about a possible medication error”.

“As a policy, the department does not comment on complaints and investigations, which includes not commenting if investigations are ongoing,” Wendelken explained.

Woonsocket Superintendent Dr. Patrick McGee said the school department is reviewing the incident.

“We have met with the relative and are investigating the allegation that has been made,” McGee said.

It is unclear at this time if anyone in elementary school will be disciplined.

Read tells 12 News that she filed a police report in connection with the incident.

12 News contacted the police department, who said there was no investigation open at this time.

Meanwhile, Read decided to pull her son out of school to ensure his safety.

“I’m just saying the school isn’t safe,” she said. “Not just for my child, but for any child.”

12 News contacted the Department for Children, Youth and Families, who confirmed the agency was aware of the incident but had not received any child abuse reports relating to the matter.

“However, the agency is not actively involved as there are no allegations of parental abuse,” a spokesperson added.

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