Eau Claire, WI (WEAU) -- A local boy was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital this week after he began acting like he was having a panic attack. That panic attack was later determined by Sacred Heart to be exposure to methamphetamine.
Kyle Roder with the Eau Claire police department says officers were dispatched to Sacred Heart Hospital for a report of a 3-year-old who had tested positive for meth in his system.
While it's a fairly rare occurrence in the Chippewa Valley, a child testing positive for methamphetamine, Dr. Paul Horvath with Mayo Clinic Health System says, these types of cases could become more regular
Dr. Horvath says, "Fortunately around this area they're pretty rare, in places that I've worked previously we saw more meth exposure than we do here. But, as meth is becoming more available, I suspect that unfortunately these kinds of cases with kids will become more frequent."
Officer Roder says the drug abuse officers often see on duty hurts more than just the user.
Roder says, "We do unfortunately have cases where children are exposed to drugs entering their system. Even more unfortunate is our officers and detectives see this on a daily bases, where children are affected by the parents or by custodians drug usage. So, it's disturbing what our officers see out there and that's why we're really have to get the point across that drug use and abuse doesn't just affect the person that is using them, it effects everyone else in their life and it puts everyone else in danger."
Dr. Horvath says those dangers children are exposed to could be deadly. He says, "Meth in general is a pretty toxic substance to all, including kids who might get a hold of it and it can definitely cause life threating effects and is difficult to treat."
As for the incident involving the 3-year-old boy, Officer Roder says the case is still under investigation.
He says the family of the child has been cooperative and the department is currently following up with all parties involved. They're also working with medical professionals to determine what may have caused the incident.