Daycare worker claims to drug children during radio call-in segment

ST. LOUIS - A disturbing call from a woman to a radio station raises the question of whether a daycare was using drugs to calm kids down. The caller claimed to Z107.7 that she was a daycare worker who had given the children Benadryl.

It’s impossible to know whether the call or not the call was true. However, it would not be the first time someone's alleged this behavior at daycare.

Childcare inspectors have found evidence of teachers drugging kids in the past, resulting in citations from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

On Thursday, a woman claimed she's doing the same thing while calling into a segment called “Dirty Little Secret.”

“Sometimes when the kids get rowdy, I give them Benadryl to calm them down," she said.

The radio host was outraged.

The woman continued, "It calms them down. There's no fighting…" One of the hosts interrupted, yelling, “Who told you that is ok to do?"

Listeners also showed their disgust on social media.

Fox 2 reached out to Robin Zellers, executive director of ChildCare Aware of Missouri, a group that helps parents find quality childcare while training teachers on how to help kids thrive.

“(Kids) should be active. They learn by playing and being active and sometimes they act out or do things that maybe we're caught off guard and if people and teachers aren't equipped with how to manage and react to that appropriately, then things can get out of hand,” Zellers said.

She said class sizes can be a key. Too many kids to teachers can lead to many problems.

“Everybody's going in a lot of different directions and things can happen in a split second - a split second,” Zellers said.

You can get clues from state inspection reports. Look for violations that say "Facility out of ratio." Or look at a room with your own eyes and ask yourself, "Is this class size manageable for teachers?"

“It is so critical that those family members, or those parents, drop in at unannounced times at those childcare facilities," Zellers said.

Every couple years, Fox 2 compiles a list of locations where childcare inspectors find complaints to be true. This is the latest map of reports we put together in November 2018.

You can also search the record of any childcare at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services portal here.

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