KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WSOC-TV) — Kings Mountain police said several children were taken to hospitals Monday after consuming bleach at Bolin's Day Care Center on Ramseur Street.
Police said a water pitcher had a very small amount of bleach added to the water for cleaning purposes and was accidentally placed in the refrigerator.
The water was then distributed to the children, police said.
(Read the letter that was given to parents Tuesday morning.)
The day care owner, Jeff Bolin, told Channel 9 that an employee put about an ounce of bleach in a gallon water jug on Friday to clean it. On Monday, he said that another employee thought it was just water, and put it in the fridge. He said it was given to the classrooms for the students.
"After the first one didn't taste right, the lady who was in charge went around and told everyone to drink no more water," said Bolin.
He said that paramedics were called right away and the children were checked out. Bolin said that most of the kids affected were 3 and 4 years old. He said that a few of them threw up and about a dozen were taken to various hospitals. Police told Channel 9 that was a precaution and that no serious complications were reported.
Bolin said his family feels horrible.
"We hate to let people down," he said.
Bolin said his family has run the day care for decades and nothing like this has ever happened.
"They were wonderful people to deal with and I was shocked to see on TV today that an accident had occurred there," said Barry Woods, who told Channel 9 he used to send his three children to the day care when they were younger.
Woods said he feels horrible for the families impacted, but would still trust Bolin Day Care with his children.
"I can see where that accident could have happened. It shouldn't have happened but I could see where it did," said Woods.
The daycare reopened Tuesday morning and no parents had pulled their kids out. Eyewitness News learned that state inspectors would not be heading to the daycare Tuesday.
Eyewitness News looked Bolin Day Care Center up on the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education website. According to that website, the day care has a superior sanitation rating and a three-star license. There were a few rule violations listed from state visits including medical care information that was not up to date for some children, but all violations were corrected. According to the website, no state action has recently been taken.
Bolin said they work hard to follow the rules.
"It was a mistake that was made, and like I said, we apologize for it," he said.
Bolin said that some cleaning policies will now change. He said that the County Health Department was there Monday.