WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A Woonsocket mother is searching for answers after she claims her 6-year-old son overdosed on his ADHD medication at school earlier this week.
Gianna Read tells 12 News that, because of her family’s routine, her son’s medication is typically administered by a school nurse after he’s eaten.
Read said her son had been receiving his medication at Harris Elementary School for about a week and half prior to the incident.
Read explained that she received a call from her son’s afterschool program at the Woonsocket YMCA Tuesday. The staff claimed her son wouldn’t calm down and requested she pick him up.
When she got there, she tells 12 News she was shocked by her son’s condition.
“He had muscle stiffness throughout his whole entire body,” Read recalled. “He wasn’t really responding. All he would say was no, it was like he was having a panic attack.”
“His lips were gray. His mouth was very dry,” she continued. “Something was definitely wrong, so we called 911.”
YMCA of Pawtucket CEO Charles Clifford confirmed the incident at the Woonsocket branch, adding that, “the child refused to leave our bus upon arrival from the elementary school.”
“After reluctantly departing the bus, once inside, the child proceeded to act erratically, endangering both himself and those around him,” Clifford said in a statement.
That’s why Clifford said staff immediately intervened and contacted Read.
“The YMCA of Pawtucket is committed to the health and welfare of all children in our care and wish the child and his family well,” he added.
Read shared her son’s hospital visit summary with 12 News, in which the doctor states the child “was likely given too big a dose” of his ADHD medication, which is a liquid administered orally.
“It was a diagnosis of overdose, or accidentally given,” Read said. “How it’s accidental, I don’t know.”
Read believes her son’s medication was given to him incorrectly, and she’s now seeking answers not only from the school, but also from the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Woonsocket Police Department.
Joseph Wendelken, a spokesperson for the Department of Health, said the agency “is aware of the concerns raised about a potential medication error.”
“As a policy, the department does not comment on complaints and investigations, which includes not commenting on whether any investigations are underway,” Wendelken explained.
Woonsocket Superintendent Dr. Patrick McGee said the school department is looking into the incident.
“We have met with the parent and we are investigating the allegation that was made,” McGee said.
It’s unclear at this time whether anyone at the elementary school will be disciplined.
Read tells 12 News she has filed a police report in connection with the incident.
12 News reached out to the police department, which stated there is no open investigation at this time.
Meanwhile, Read has decided to pull her son out of school to ensure his safety.
“I’m just saying that school is unsafe,” she said. “Not just for my child, but for any child.”
12 News reached out to the Department of Children, Youth and Families, which confirmed that the agency is aware of the incident but has not received any reports of child maltreatment regarding this case.
“However, the agency is not actively involved as there is no allegation of parental maltreatment,” a spokesperson added.