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San Francisco School Kids Hospitalized After Eating Rat Poison

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Martin Luther King Middle School in San Francisco. (CBS)

Martin Luther King Middle School in San Francisco. (CBS)

CBS SF Bay (con't)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / KCBS / AP / BCN) — Seven San Francisco middle school students were taken to hospitals Thursday after apparently mistaking rat poison for candy, according to authorities.

The sixth grade students from the Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Middle School in the city’s Portola District were taken to three hospitals at 12:08 p.m. after ingesting a blue cube they found atop a filing cabinet.

San Francisco Fire Department Lt. Mindy Talmadge said emergency crews were called to the school after one of the students told a parent that “she and some of her friends had eaten some rat poisoning.” A teacher later called poison control.

“Only two of them really ingested it, the others kind of licked it,” Talmadge said.

She indicated that while the children – boys and girls all between the ages of 10 and 12 – showed no symptoms, they were taken to hospitals as a precaution so doctors could evaluate them.

“This type of poison is basically a blood thinner and it’s got a delayed type of effect,” Talmadge said. “The amount (consumed) was so miniscule that we’re not expecting them to have any symptoms at all.”

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

School officials said the incident was under investigation.

“The vice principal is actually going to each class and informing kids that if you don’t know what something is then you don’t want to put it in your mouth,” said SFFD Battalion Chief Michael Thompson.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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