An attentive B.C. mother was able to intervene quickly after her 11-month-old girl discovered a suspected bag of fentanyl last weekend at a Kamloops, B.C., playground.
The woman contacted police after her child discovered the suspected controlled substance while playing in McDonald Park at 262 King St. just before 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Stefanie Elliott told Kamloops TV station CFJC she had brought her two kids to the play structure when the incident involving her daughter, Poppy, occurred.
“I put my youngest, my 11-month-old baby, at the top of the slide for my eldest to take her down,” Elliott told CFJC Today. “She was only up there long enough for her to be set down, turn around onto all fours and turn her back to me, and I could see that she grabbed something.”
Knowing young children instinctively put objects into their mouths, she said she instructed her older child to take the object away.
“I took it from my eldest’s hands, looked at it and realized it was a packet that was absolutely chock-full,” said Elliott. “I realized at that moment — ‘Oh my God, this was an extremely close call.’”
RCMP Staff Sgt. Simon Pillay said Kamloops is in the grips of an opioid crisis like the rest of Canada.
“Unfortunately, this means issues like found needles and drugs are something that all parents must be mindful of while in public settings,” Pillay said.
Police added that the incident serves as a good reminder for parents to speak with their kids about the reality of hazards they could find in public.
Const. Gary Gray, with the Kamloops RCMP’s targeted enforcement unit, said investigators have dealt with fentanyl in the city since 2014 and that it’s become a drug of choice.
“Drug traffickers acquire fentanyl fairly cheap and mix it with a buffing agent, such as caffeine, to be sold on the street,” he said.
“Some drug traffickers add colouring to their product to make it a signature product.”
Gray said the most common colour the Mounties have been seeing is purple fentanyl.
The importation, production and trafficking of fentanyl has been associated with organized crime groups, police said.
Anyone with information pertaining to local drug trafficking activities is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-828-3000.