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Vandals May Be Targeting Kids With Nut Allergies By Smearing Peanut Butter On Playgrounds
Toronto parents are appalled and frightened for their kids' safety after reports that vandals have been smearing peanut butter on playground equipment across the city, potentially targeting children with peanut allergies. According to theToronto Star, mom Sarah Bolton recently spotted the common allergen at the playground in Dufferin Grove Park, which she was visiting with her two-year-old son Lewis.
"It's just a really scary situation. It was everywhere...it would have to take a sociopath to do something like this," she told the news outlet. She estimates there was enough peanut butter to fill three jars spread over the swings, slides, and handrails. She quickly took to Facebook to warn other parents, and the disturbing news went viral.
For children with an allergy to peanut butter, any contact with it is extremely dangerous. "Given that even a small amount of peanut butter, if ingested, could cause a serious allergic reaction and be potentially life-threatening, it is an upsetting situation for everyone," said Food Allergy Canada in statement.
Even more upsetting, this incident has reportedly happened before. Matthew Cutler, a spokesperson for Toronto's Parks, Forestry and Recreation department, told CTV News that peanut butter sightings have been reported in Carleton Park, Perth Square, and Hillcrest Park. But Matthew says staffers never actually found any peanut butter when they arrived at those park locations. But in the case of Dufferin Park, staffdidfind the peanut butter—and quickly cleaned it up.
Despite the multiple sightings and viral warnings, no official reports have been made to authorities. "As soon as someone calls the police, an investigation will begin," a police spokesperson told the media.
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