A three-year-old Hong Kong girl is being treated in hospital after she accidentally ingested the illegal drug methamphetamine at her home, police have said.

The toddler was suspected to have accidentally taken the drug in the Tung Chau public housing estate flat she lived in, police told HKFP on Thursday after an initial investigation.

Princess Margaret Hospital
The Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung. Photo: GovHK.

The case was now under further investigation and had been classified as “child abuse or neglect involving the children or juveniles under care.” No arrests have been made so far. The girl’s mother was believed to be a drug user, local media reported citing sources.

The girl’s father took her to Princess Margaret Hospital on September 19 after she developed a high fever. Medical social workers suggested a urine test, which revealed the presence of methamphetamine.

A spokesperson of the Princess Margaret Hospital told HKFP that the hospital reported the case to the police on Thursday. “The 3-year-old girl is currently being treated by our hospital and her condition is stable, ” the spokesperson said.

According to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, it is an offence to illegally manufacture, supply or possess methamphetamine in Hong Kong.

drug ISD
Drugs such as methamphetamine and heroin seized by Hong Kong Customs in September. Photo: GovHK.

Earlier this year, two girls were sent to hospital after accidentally ingesting sweets containing Cannabidiol (CBD). Their father was charged in June with child abuse or neglect.

CBD was classified as a dangerous drug in Hong Kong in February 1. Trafficking and sales of substances in contravention of the law will see a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of H$5 million.

Increasing cases of child abuse

Hong Kong has seen an increasing trend of child abuse over the past three years.

kids children mask covid
Children playing at a kindergarten. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

A total of 704 cases of child abuse were recorded for the first half year of 2023, an increase of nearly 84 per cent compared to the same period in 2020, according to the Social Welfare Department.

In the United States, a one-year-old boy died at a New York City nursery after a suspected fentanyl overdose on September 15. Three other children were hospitalised. Police said the fentanyl was hidden in the nap room under a mat as he slept.

Support HKFP  |  Policies & Ethics  |  Error/typo?  |  Contact Us  |  Newsletter  | Transparency & Annual Report | Apps


Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team

contribute to hkfp methods
tote bag support
YouTube video

Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit.

Irene Chan is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press and has an interest in covering political and social change. She previously worked at Initium Media as chief editor for Hong Kong news and was a community organiser at the Society for Community Organisation serving the underprivileged. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Fudan University and a master’s degree in social work from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Irene is the recipient of two Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) awards and three honourable mentions for her investigative, feature and video reporting. She also received a Human Rights Press Award for multimedia reporting and an honourable mention for feature writing.