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National checks in kid drugs scandal

Shanghai Daily, March 19, 2014 Adjust font size:

Checks have been ordered in all China’s kindergartens and primary and middle schools after children were given antiviral drugs without their parents’ knowledge.

To date, seven kindergartens have been implicated in the scandal.

Provinces and cities have been told to determine if there are any other cases before April 10.

Any breaches of the law will be severely dealt with, the Ministry of Education and the National Health and Family Planning Commission said.

The scandal has triggered concerns among families nationwide.

Parents in Huangshan City, in east China’s Anhui Province, this week said children at Yucai Kindergarten had medicine sprayed in their mouths every morning.

Families did not know what the spray contained, the local Anhui Business News reported yesterday.

The kindergarten’s deputy principal, surnamed Gu, said it was just saline solution and banlangen — a traditional Chinese cold remedy.

She said the kindergarten began administering the spray to children in 2007 to keep their mouths clean and prevent them from catching colds.

Gu insisted that the local authorities agreed to the scheme.

Parents said they knew nothing about it.

The antiviral drugs scandal first emerged in two kindergartens in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, this month.

The schools had given children prescription drug moroxydine ABOB since 2008.

Then, four kindergartens operated by the Fanglin Education Group in Jilin City in northeast China’s Jilin Province were closed.

Xingang Kindergarten in Yichang City in central China’s Hubei Province was the seventh to be ordered to shut. The principal and vice principal have been detained.

Around 2,000 children attended the seven kindergartens.

Some parents said their kids developed nausea, itchiness and pains in the abdomen and legs.

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