A 13-year-old Form One student was yesterday warded at the Intensive Care Unit at the San Fernando General Hospital after allegedly ingesting a meal laced with poison. A 43-year-old female relative has been detained as the police determine whether the poisoning was deliberate or accidental.
The teenager began frothing and vomiting after ingesting a meal of chicken and rice given to him by a close female relative, at his New Grant, Princes Town home around 3.40 pm on Thursday. It is alleged that there was lannate in the food.
An ambulance took the teenager to the Princes Town Health Facility where he was treated and transferred to the hospital.
Police said before he was given the meal the teenager and the female relative argued. A male relative, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of the teenager, recalled that he was at home when the child fell ill.
Claiming that the teenager who was sitting on the couch was reluctant to eat the food, he said: “He say he fed up. He just going to eat the food and call it and he fed up. That is what I heard him say.”
He said the female relative grabbed the food and threw it out the window and shoved her finger in his mouth in an attempt to make him regurgitate the food. The teenager began to froth and vomit. He said the relative had been frustrated dealing with the teenager’s behaviour.
“I don’t know yesterday (Thursday) he get in a fight and he get suspended but for the longest while (name called) has been getting himself into problems in school. That led her to decide to threaten him that she put this food for him to eat, not expecting he will eat it to frighten him and discipline him,” he said.
Describing the woman as a good person, he said the teenager’s attitude had changed since he entered secondary school. He claimed the teenager was bullied and suspended a few times.
The male relative is calling for urgent action to address school indiscipline and violence.
“I hope that these teachers and police for bullying in school could take a better protective (approach) to see about these children. When children talk, at least, let police and deans come out and listen to these children. Things happening and this leading to more frustration to children.”
Up to yesterday, he had not spoken to the female relative, but he is “hoping for the best” outcome for her and the teenager.
Deyalsingh: Get help with difficult children
A psychologist is urging adults to seek help if they cannot cope with a delinquent or indisciplined child.
Dr Varma Deyalsingh reminded them that counselling and support are available through the Student Support Services, the Ministry of Social Development, the Children’s Authority or as a last resort the police.
He said the child could be taken before the court and made a ward of the state to be placed in a state-run institution where the child could be monitored and get the necessary help.
Dr Deyalsingh said people are experiencing a lot of psycho-social stress and those close to them should understand their struggles and not add to their problems.
“Some persons who are feeling frustrated and helpless can get angry and depressed and may build up resentment toward a disobedient or delinquent relative and sometimes in a fit of rage they may think that they may be better off with them out of the way,” he explained.
Deyalsingh said they may feel that “ending the source of it can give you that level of peace and control.” He said some people may also have an underlying psychological disorder and may lose rational thought and act out a delusion thinking it might solve their problem.
“Having a difficult child is always challenging, especially when children are going through their puberty period and their hormones are surging and they may act out in a certain manner and if you have poor parenting skills you may not be able to handle yourself properly,” he said.