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Jewish Preschooler Dies After Possibly Mistaking Rust Cleaner for Chocolate Syrup

Stain remover

In heartbreaking news, a 4-year-old boy died on Tuesday in Kiryas Joel, New York, after being poisoned by a household cleaning product he found in his kitchen — possibly mistaking it for chocolate syrup.

The boy, Yitzchak Menashe Schwartz, came into contact with a bottle of Whink Rust Stain Remover. According to Vos Iz Neias, the “brown plastic bottle and white top may have looked like a bottle of chocolate syrup to the preschooler.” It’s still unclear if the child inhaled the chemicals or actually ingested the cleaning product.

This tragedy comes after a lot of controversy about cleaning products being shaped like candy. (See: the insanely stupid Tide Pod Challenge.)

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, every day, “over 300 children in the United States ages 0 to 19 are treated in an emergency department” due to poisoning. “Active, curious children will often investigate — and sometimes try to eat or drink — anything that they can get into.”

The boy’s hometown of Kiryas Joel is largely inhabited by the Satmar Hasidic community, ultra-Orthodox Jews who speak Yiddish. It’s located in Orange County, New York. After coming into contact with the rust remover, Schwartz was rushed to the Orange Regional Medical Center in Middeltown, New York, before being transported to Westchester Medical Center, where he passed away.

Our thoughts are with his family in this tragic time.

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