A mother has spoken of her horror at discovering that her baby daughter was found with a mouse in her mouth while playing at a daycare centre.
Eight-month-old Alanah Barba has now been removed from the preschool in Newark, New Jersey where her relatives believe she should have been more closely supervised.
‘She could have swallowed it,’ said her mother Brittany Barba. ‘And – God forbid for saying it – she could have died.’
Alanah was apparently discovered by preschool assistants playing with what they thought was a toy – but they quickly realised it was in fact a mouse.
Her family say they believe the mouse was dead when Alanah found it.
Preschool assistants used water and soap to wash her hands and mouth, but Alanah’s relatives say she should have been taken to ER.
‘There’s germs – mice carry disease,’ said her aunt Nadyyah Miller.
‘Lately she’s been vomiting,’ said Ms Barba. ‘Everything she’s eaten, she’s throwing it back up.’
Alanah’s mother was volunteering in another part of the Donald K Tucker Childcare Center, and was called to the office after her daughter’s predicament.
The family claims that the centre was obstructive in dealing with their complaint, and would only hand over the incident report after the police intervened.
‘I feel like they were trying to cover it up,’ Ms Miller told CNN.
Kiburi Tucker, director of the centre, told WABC he was ‘really hurt’ by the incident, saying: ‘It could have been my child.’
But he insisted that it was a one-off accident which occurred in the split-seconds when a carer had briefly turned away.
He said the centre had been visited by the state health department, and would put in place new hygiene procedure as well as increasing the frequency of visits by pest control.