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LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) – Florida health officials are investigating an incident in which more than two dozen kids got sick at a Lauderhill preschool.
First responders said they got a call around 2 p.m. of a sick child at the school. When they arrived, they found 29 students experiencing symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.
Rescue crews took 21 kids to the hospital from Ave Marie Friends Preparatory School located at 5801 NW 19th Street.
Chopper4 was over the school as a number of rescue trucks could be seen parked outside. Some children were seen being wheeled out on stretchers. Lauderhill Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeff Levy said eight children were evaluated on scene, but their parents chose to not have them transported to the hospital by Fire Rescue.
Levy says it appears the cause might be food they ate.
“The only common denominator that we can attribute it to is what the children ate for lunch,” said Levy.
Fire rescuers did not disclose what they ate or where the food came from except for saying that the food came from outside the school.
Frantic parents feared the worst when they pulled up to the school and saw a collection of fire rescue trucks and ambulances.
DJ’s mom said seeing her son brought her to tears.
“It was just a relief. I started crying,” she said.
DJ’s aunt, Phi Menter, says she is upset that no one from the school called to tell them what was going on.
“They definitely should have called the parents as soon as it happened. Don’t just send them to the hospital. I understand the desire to send them to the hospital but in all reality, the parents should have been aware because the parents love their kids,” she said.
A hazmat crew did not find anything hazardous at the school and health officials will be checking out the food. When asked about the investigation, health officials said: “We cannot discuss an ongoing investigation.”