It wasn’t a great day for a preschool assistant, after she accidentally served Pine-Sol to students, mistaking it for apple juice. According to the Hawaii Health Department, an assistant at Kilohana United Methodist Christ Preschool took the Pine-Sol off a kitchen chart, while preparing snacks and filled the cups with the liquid.
A classroom teacher smelled the Pine-Sol and ordered students to stop drinking it. Paramedics arrived at the preschool in Honolulu on Tuesday morning and evaluated three girls between the ages of 4 and 5. Luckily, the students only managed to drink small sips of the cleaning products, and none of them needed to be treated.
The preschool sent a letter home to parents, calling the incident “unfortunately”, noting that no child was hurt during the incident. The product used by the assistant was stored in its original container and was properly labeled. The cart did not have any food items in it, as all the food was labeled and stored in kitchen cabinets.
Investigators with the Hawaii State Department of Health said they found no code violations during a subsequent inspection of the school. The preschool is evaluating its process for obtaining refreshments and snacks to prevent chances of an incident like this happen again and all staff member will undergo additional training.
If ingested, Pine-Sol can negatively affect reproductive and neurological development, especially if taken by pregnant women, causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, and trouble breathing. People exposed to high levels of product for several hours can suffer from eye and nose irritation, vomiting, headaches, and metallic taste in their mouth.
According to the State Health Department, a dozen people accidentally ingest Pine-Sol each year, half of them being children. If ingested, experts state to seek immediate medical help and do not make a person throw up unless inducted by a health care provider or poison control.
The school assistant no longer works at the school.