Children stung by wasps on first school day


The school year started with wasp stings yesterday for several Rotorua children.

Tiffany Murfitt said she took her 7-year-old daughter, Rose, to Ngongotaha School yesterday morning for the first day of the school year and was contacted a short time later, about 9am, to come to the school. Mrs Murfitt said staff told her someone had disturbed a wasps' nest and several children had been stung. Her daughter was stung three times.

She said Rose did not suffer any serious side effects but "she was very shaken and scared".

Mrs Murfitt said she was told a lot of children were in the area.

When she arrived at the school she saw a lot of children in the sick bay, she said.

Her daughter stayed at school for the rest of the day.

Mrs Murfitt said as far as she knew no one had suffered any serious side effects or required an ambulance.

She said the area around the wasps' nest had been cordoned off.

"The school was great. They reacted very well."

A St John Ambulance spokesman said they were not called to the school.

Ngongotaha School principal Cathryn Naera would not confirm how many children were stung but said the school dealt with the situation really well.

Rotorua District Council communications manager Rex Moore said they had not been contacted by the school but said if it was on school grounds it was the responsibility of the school.

Rotorua's Bay Pest Services manager Chris Brunel said they were not called to the school to get rid of the nest but said a professional pest controller should be called to get rid of it. He said there were 50 "old granny" recipes to get rid of wasps' nests but people should not under any circumstances use those.

Mr Brunel said if a school had a wasps' nest they should not rely on their own staff to get rid of it "because there are too many things that can go wrong".

He said a pest controller should not go into the school to get rid of the nest until after school hours as it was far too risky to deal with wasps while children were still at school.

He said his company had had between 24 and 36 calls in the past month to deal with wasps' nests which was "down a bit" on previous years.

He said it was called to Owhata School on Wednesday but waited until after school hours to deal with the wasps which was just as well as it was a "big nest".

- Rotorua Daily Post

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