Kanyamazane police in Mpumalanga are investigating the death of a two-year-old child who died after allegedly drinking poison at her home on Sunday afternoon.
It is alleged the family did not report the incident to the police but spent the night with the body, only to report the incident the following day, Mpumalanga News reported.
The incident occured on Sunday, but police were only called on Monday.
It is alleged the liquid poison, used to kill cockroaches, was in a juice bottle on a table in the house.
The child mistakenly took the liquid for juice. The mother only noticed something was wrong when the toddler started to cough incessantly.
KaNyamazane police spokesperson Constable Ncobile Mnisi said: “She reeked of the poison, and they tried to give the child milk to drink before rushing to a private doctor, who declared the minor dead upon arrival. The family alleged that they were confused, not knowing what to do at the time and decided to carry the child’s body back home and spent the night with the corpse.”
“A family member called the police on Monday, and we are investigating the incident,” Mnisi added.
Mpumalanga News spoke to local health practitioner Dr Gcina Mavuso about the dangers of poison.
The cockroach poison is deadly and requires users, even adults and farmers, to wear protective clothing, including masks and gloves because it can even penetrate through the skin.
“Such pesticides are very dangerous, as they contain organophosphate, which is unsafe to the skin. It can block impulses to the spinal cord and muscles.
“It is even worse when swallowed. The best thing to do when someone has swallowed it, is to rush to the hospital immediately, where they have all the necessary equipment to check the amount consumed and provide the correct antidote.”
– Caxton News Service