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Jun 1, 2022

Toddler Fights for Life after Ingesting Poison

Two-year-old Melanie Santos is tonight in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after she accidentally ingested poison while at home in San Felipe Village, Orange Walk. The details of the incident, which has been confirmed by police, are frightening for any family that has a small child running around the house. According to police, Melanie’s father, Orlando Santos placed pieces of bread soaked with Lannate pesticide on the bed to deal with a rodent issue; Melanie was later observed consuming the bread. The toddler was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital and later transferred to the K.H.M.H. in a critical condition. Registrar of Pesticides Miriam Ochaeta-Serrut says that the pesticide is a red label product – it is highly toxic to humans.


Miriam Ochaeta-Serrut

Miriam Ochaeta-Serrut, Registrar of Pesticides, Pesticide Control Board

“There are always reports of misuse or unintended use of pesticides such as this one. But when it involves children, it really strikes a very serious chord with us. We’ve had some bad cases in the past. The actual use. I don’t want to add any further anguish to this family, but I would really like to appeal to the Belizean public, when you are handling a pesticide, a pesticide is a poison. Lannate has an active ingredient named methomyl. Methomyl is highly hazardous. All these formulations belong to the higher level of hazard; they present the highest eklvel of hazard. Well in the case of Methomyl, which is the active ingredient in lannate, the lethal dose is three hundred and fifty-eight milligrams per kilo of body weight. So it becomes even more critical if we are talking about a child because it is less body weight so it is more hazardous to a child than to an adult because of the body weight. So it’s really, really disturbing. With the specific case at hand, there is no way anybody would intentionally ever put their child at risk like this. But I would really like to appeal to the Belizean public to think more than twice when you are going to take care of a pest situation in your home when it concerns the use of pesticides.”

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