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Toddler Hospitalized After Ingesting Crack Cocaine

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A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, daycare worker saved the life of a toddler who was found chewing on a bag of crack cocaine.

The 3-year-old girl was reportedly playing outside at the Works of Learning Early Daycare center in West Philadelphia on March 22 when the daycare worker noticed she was chewing on something. The worker inspected the substance, recognized it immediately, and reached out to the girl's parents before driving her to a nearby Children's Hospital.

Upon further inspection by police, it was confirmed that the contents of the bag was crack cocaine. Lt. John Walker said the daycare worker acted quickly enough that the child's life was saved, NBC Philadelphia reports. While at the hospital, tests showed that the girl did, in fact, ingest the drug, and the hospital kept the child for observation.

"Obviously they are shocked when they get the phone call, anyone would be," Walker said, according to CBS Philadelphia.

"They are with the child now and detectives are down there talking. The kid is in good spirits and the parents are aware of what happened, but obviously are not happy about what happened and are still trying to figure it out themselves."

Police said they don't believe the girl found the drug inside of the daycare. An investigation is currently underway.

Incidents at daycare centers are not uncommon, with shocking cases of neglect and sometimes abuse surfacing regularly. In an incident in Burlington, Vermont, in February, 3-year-old Parker Berry was found dead from an accidental drowning in a stream outside of his daycare center, WPTZ reported at the time.

The toddler died 29 hours after being found. The daycare center's license was suspended following Parker's death, and an investigation was launched to determine "whether acts were committed related child abuse and neglect."

According to investigators, nobody noticed that Parker had gone missing until his relatives arrived to pick him up. The drowning, which occurred in a stream that was approximately 2 feet deep, was ultimately ruled accidental — though Vermont State Police said they were investigating whether or not anyone should face criminal charges for the boy's death.

Sources: NBC Philadelphia, CBS Philadelphia, WPTZ / Photo credit: NBC Philadelphia, 6 ABC

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