Lawsuit: Children given Benadryl at Lynnwood day care

Parents sued Little Hands Big Hearts Early Learning alleging their kids were given “purple candy” at nap time.

Lynnwood

LYNNWOOD — Six parents filed a lawsuit against a Lynnwood-based day care last month, alleging staff gave their children Benadyrl to get them to fall asleep.

In September, the state Department of Children, Youth and Families shut down the day care, Little Hands Big Hearts Early Learning, according to the lawsuit filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

That month, two parents arrived at the day care to pick up their children. The kids were waking up from a nap. One of them told the parents that a different child, “spits out his purple medicine at nap time,” according to the lawsuit.

The parents asked their children about the medicine. The children confirmed they received purple candy at nap time, the complaint said. The mother reached out to other parents whose children attended the day care and found out their children also get dark purple medicine every day.

The parents reported the daycare to the Department of Social and Health Services. On Sept. 22, the department launched an investigation into owner Shanine Sunshine Lofton and Little Hands. The department shut down Little Hands that day, pending its investigation.

Lofton and her co-owner were listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office was also investigating Lofton and Little Hands, said sheriff’s office spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe.

According to the lawsuit, the children tested positive for high levels of diphenhydramine, also known as Benadryl, an allergy relief medication which caused drowsiness as a side effect. The children reportedly would be given Benadryl to make them sleepy.

Benadryl is an older allergy medication, introduced in 1940. Diphenhydramine is associated with significant and common side effects, including sedation, decreased cognitive function, dizziness and low blood pressure, according to a 2019 study from the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The drug was found to result in death from accidents, intentional or unintentional overdoses and sudden cardiac death.

Benadryl is not recommended for toddlers to use the medication unless directed by a doctor.

Lofton and her co-owner also spanked at least one of the children, the lawsuit claims.

Lofton’s attorney, Jim Johanson, said it was “too early” in the case for him to respond. Lofton was unable to comment on the case, Johanson said.

The day care was listed as temporarily closed on Yelp, with a scheduled reopening Jan. 1.

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486; jonathan.tall@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @snocojon.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Fraudulent 1999 Pokémon cards Iosif “Joe” Bondarchuk and Anthony Curcio sold to an undercover law enforcement purchaser in July 2023. (Photo provided by the DOJ USAO Southern District of New York)
Counterfeit Pokémon cards, a $2M scheme, and a getaway by inner tube

It was the latest stranger-than-fiction caper tied to ex-Monroe star athlete Anthony Curcio, accused of forging mint grades for rare cards.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Lynnwood
Suspected DUI crash injures trooper on I-5 north in Lynnwood

WSP spokesperson said two suspected impaired drivers have crashed into a state trooper in the past 24 hours.

Former President Donald Trump raises a fist as he walks to the courtroom after the jury had a question for the judge amid  deliberations in his criminal trial at the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Trump found guilty on all 34 counts in hush-money case

Twelve New Yorkers delivered their verdict in the case against Donald J. Trump. He was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with a payment to a porn star.

The view of Mountain Loop Mine out the window of a second floor classroom at Fairmount Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After months of controversy, mine’s Everett gravel yard is for sale

In April, a county judge ordered OMA Construction to stop all work, next door to Fairmount Elementary School. Now, the yard is on the market.

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Nov. 28, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Boeing agrees to pay over $11.5M in back pay to employees

Nearly 500 workers received back wages, in what Washington regulators call the largest-ever settlement of its kind in state history.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 closure between Everett and Marysville delayed by weather

The key alternative route to I-5 was slated to be fully closed overnight Saturday. Now, June 8 is being circled as the date.

Benson Boone (Photo provided by AEG Presents)
Taylor Swift taps Monroe HS grad Benson Boone to open London show

Boone, 21, has become a global pop star since his “American Idol” stint in 2021. “Beautiful Things” is the biggest song in the world.

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.
Mill Creek man accused of crashing into taxi in Seattle, killing woman

King County prosecutors charged Aboubacarr Singhateh with vehicular homicide and three counts of vehicular assault.

Grayson Huff, left, a 4th grader at Pinewood Elementary, peeks around his sign during the Marysville School District budget presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State OKs Marysville plan with schools, jobs on chopping block

The revised plan would mean the loss of dozens of jobs and two schools — still to be identified — in a school district staring down a budget crunch.

The Trestle’s junction with I-5 is under evaluation (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to give feedback on the US 2 trestle and its future

Often feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and on shaky ground? So is the trestle. A new $17 million study seeks solutions for the route east of Everett.

Rep. Suzanne DelBene and Mayor Kyoko Matsumoto Wright walk past a future apartment development during a tour and discussion with community leaders regarding the Mountlake Terrace Main Street Revitalization project on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
As Mountlake Terrace grows, so does housing around light rail

City officials lauded a new apartment complex and accepted a $850,000 check, as Mountlake Terrace continues work on Town Center plan.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.