Boy May Have Died After Contacting Fentanyl at Pool

Officials say 10-year-old is among youngest victims of opioid crisis
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 18, 2017 3:33 PM CDT
Boy, 10, Among Opioid Crisis' Youngest Victims: Officials
A reporter holds up an example of the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly after a news conference about deaths from fentanyl exposure, at DEA Headquarters in Arlington Va., Tuesday, June 6, 2017.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Prosecutors in Florida believe a 10-year-old boy who died with the painkiller fentanyl in his system is among the state's youngest victims of the opioid crisis, the AP reports. Preliminary toxicology tests show Alton Banks had fentanyl in his system when he collapsed and died at his home on June 23, the Miami Herald reported . Health officials say fentanyl, along with other synthetic forms of the drug, is so powerful that just a speck breathed in or absorbed through the skin can be fatal. That's what investigators believe happened to Alton. The fifth-grader started vomiting after coming home from an outing at the neighborhood pool. He was found unconscious that evening and rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.

Investigators said there's no evidence he came into contact with the drug at home. They think he may have been exposed to it at the pool or on his walk home in Miami's Overtown community, which has been hard-hit by the opioid epidemic. Detectives are still trying to piece together his final day. "He was out playing, like we want all our children to do," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said. "We're anxiously hoping that someone comes forward to help us solve this horrific death." The boy's mother, Shantell Banks, said her son was a "fun kid" who wanted to become an engineer and loved the Carolina Panthers. "Cam Newton was his favorite football player," she said. (More opioids stories.)

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