Christmas took a near-deadly turn for a 9-year-old Hernando County child. The little girl ate a piece of crack cocaine she found on the bathroom floor of her Spring Hill home.
"The young person has been deteriorating over the last few days, throwing up and so forth, until this young person actually had a seizure today and was transported to the hospital," Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said Thursday.
Deputies say the drugs belonged to 45-year-old Kimberly Losurdo.
The child told investigators at her hospital bedside that Losurdo smoked and snorted drugs inside the house all the time.
"Basically, I guess the child kind of thought it was normal course of business to take drugs," Nienhuis said.
The 9-year-old is expected to make a full recovery, but experts at the Florida Poison Information Center say crack cocaine's stimulant effect could easily kill a child.
"The rapid heartbeat and constriction of the blood vessels has been known to cause heart attacks in relatively young people," said medical director Cynthia Lewis-Younger.
Losurdo was arrested early Thursday morning on charges of child abuse. Neighbors say they've been worried about the kids for months.
"There's been a lot of concern. What's going on in that house? What's going on with those kids?" said one neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous.
The Department of Children and Families removed the girl and two other children from the home.
Losurdo admitted to deputies that she did use drugs inside the home and needed help. She's currently being held at the Hernando County Detention Center.