10-Year-Old's Death Illustrates Dangers of Fentanyl Exposure

Alton Banks, a 10-year-old boy, died after visiting a neighborhood pool in Miami last month. Police in Florida believe the drug was on a surface he came in contact with either at or on the way to the pool.

As the medical examiner waits for toxicology reports, police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, are not waiting to get out the warning about the severity of coming in contact with an opioid.

"That's the scariest part of that 10-year-old's death," Deputy Superintendent Jack Albert of the Cambridge Police Department said. "You don't know where he came in contact with that fentanyl."

Police say a person does not have to come in contact with a lot of the drug for it to be dangerous.

"It's as small as a grain and with car fentanyl it's even smaller," Albert said. "In some cases, it can even be airborne."

The danger of exposure is why police across Massachusetts have received specialized training. It was on full display on the North Shore this week as police there responded to two overdose related deaths.

They recommend parents who most likely do not have access to that type of equipment in training become familiar with the signs of an overdose, and get help immediately if they recognize it is happening.

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