COOS BAY, Ore. — An Oregon day care has shut down following an incident where children and staff members suffered injuries from insecticide being sprayed.
Coos Bay Children’s Academy shut down Monday, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported (http://bit.ly/2qxb7mR ). The incident happened May 5, and left at least six children and two staff members with inflamed eyes and breathing problems.
State regulators opened an inquiry into the incident, but had not sent anybody to Children’s Academy as of Tuesday. The owner voluntarily closed.
Several academy employees quit after the incident and parents flocked their kids away.
The academy had been cited for six state rule violations in less than year. None of the violations prompted a fine from Oregon’s Office of Child Care.
Concerned employees warned parents about the insecticide incident after children fell ill during the first week of May.
The owner of the day care, Elizabeth Ewing, later urged employees to tell an upset staff member to “shut up” and recommended they conduct “damage control,” according to an email sent by the owner to staff and shared with The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Ewing said she bought and sprayed the wrong insecticide inside the academy, but she blamed the mistake on a co-op employee who sold her the product, saying she received the wrong chemical.
“We really did think we were doing the right thing,” she said. “I’ve lost everything because of this.”
The state is now reviewing problems at the academy, but officials have yet to determine whether the use of insecticide violated state rules.
“Our charge is not to just drop the hammer every time somebody gets a single violation,” said Richard Riggs, legal administrator for the Office of Child Care.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com