As a kid, you may have been told not to pick up random items you find on the ground but over 20 children had to learn that lesson the hard way on Thursday. A pepper spray incident at a Montreal elementary school landed four children in the hospital with several others requiring attention after the kids found a canister of the spray in their schoolyard.
According to CBC, kids at Ecole Alphonse-Desjardins, an elementary school in Montreal, began playing with the canister after they found it in the yard. Unfortunately, the students ended up pulling the pin which resulted in the spray going everywhere.
In total, 22 kids at the school were affected by the pepper-spray, which is typically used in policing or self-defense. When sprayed, it causes a burning sensation in the eyes and even blindness.
For the Montreal school kids, their symptoms were much worse. Along with feeling the typical effects of pepper-spray, CBC reports that the four children who were sent to the hospital were experiencing symptoms like vomiting, coughing, and burning eyes.
The remaining 18 children involved were evaluated at the scene but were able to go home with their parents. Meanwhile, the rest of the school remains open for the day.
The ages of the children involved in this pepper-spraying incident have not been revealed, but Ecole Alphonse-Desjardins is a small school with around 500 students. According to their website, they offer pre-k to grade 6 and the students there could be as young as 5-years-old.
This isn't the first time children have been harmed by items found in their schoolyard this year, and we are only a few weeks into the new school year.
Earlier this month, a number of young students in Toronto were poked by syringes that they found on school property and began playing with. City News reports that three students were taken to the hospital to be checked out after playing with needles at St. Vincent de Paul catholic elementary school.
Meanwhile, another child, who is only 3-years-old was taken to the hospital after putting a needle in his mouth. City News reports that incident took place at Jesse Ketchum Early Learning & Child Care Centre.
Following today's pepper-spray incident, Montreal Police are not launching an investigation. However, in Toronto, police took the opportunity to remind parents to educate their children about not picking up items like syringes off the ground.