10-month-old baby barely survived after ingesting fentanyl at popular Bay Area park, parent says

ByLuz Pena KGO logo
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Parent says baby barely survived ingesting fentanyl at SF park
A parent says his 10-month-old child barely survived ingesting fentanyl at popular San Francisco's Moscone Park.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Police Department is investigating a medical emergency that sent a 10-month-old to the emergency room. The child's parent says the baby ingested fentanyl.

San Francisco firefighters and paramedics were sent to a popular park in the Marina District.

San Francisco resident Michael Halpern witnessed the medical response.

"My office is right there," said Halpern. "We saw paramedics and people and the stretchers going on. Then the mommies over there with the babies and the nannies and people in distress."

The parent of the child posted on social media that their 10-month-old barely survived after ingesting fentanyl while playing at Moscone Park. On Wednesday, parents were on edge.

"It worries me that he is going to pick up something like that," said parent Kirsten Chalfant. "Get it on his hands and then put it in his mouth. At this age you shouldn't worry about your kid consuming something like fentanyl."

In a new post, the parent said the nanny reacted quickly. After noticing the baby's mouth turned blue and he began to have trouble breathing. According to the parent, the baby was given Narcan an opioid overdose reversal drug.

Fentanyl-related deaths in L.A. County have increased nearly 14 times from 2016 to 2021, according to new numbers from the county Department of Public Health.

The San Francisco Police Department confirmed they are investigating the cause of the medical emergency.

The fire department said they couldn't confirm the claim of the baby ingesting fentanyl at the park and added: "We responded to Moscone Park for a pediatric patient in cardiac arrest. San Francisco Fire and Paramedics arrived on scene in 2 minutes, provided life-saving measures and revived the patient."

San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani represents the Marina District.

"I'm a mother myself and I would say just to be very cautious and to look around and to know that we are doing everything in District 2. We are responding with police presence and have rec and parks respond in the way they can," said Stefani.

Asked by KGO-TV how her office was responding to the matter, Stefani said: "What I have been doing is making sure that we are not just engaging in harm reduction but that people have paths to recovery. The whole purpose of harm reduction is to make sure that the addict doesn't gets sick from a dirty needle. But if our focus on harm reduction is actually potentially harming others we need to reevaluate that."

Supervisor Stefani said the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department will close the park after hours, and police patrol will increase but for some parents, this incident may be their tipping point.

"It's horrible. It makes me just reconsider staying in San Francisco and if we should move," said parent Alexis St. George.

"On 11/29/22 at approximately 10:16 p.m., San Francisco Police officers from Northern Station responded to a local hospital for a report of male infant that had undergone a medical emergency," the Police Department said in a statement. "Officers met with the witness who was with the child at Moscone Recreational Park at approximately 2:30 p.m., when the medical emergency occurred. The San Francisco Fire Department responded to the scene and transported the child to the hospital for a life-threatening emergency. The cause of the medical emergency is still under investigation.