This past week in Grady County Georgia, there have been nearly a dozen arrests of people suspected of manufacturing methamphetamine.
Those numbers are startling, but even more disturbing is the fact that five children were removed from those homes. Authorities take quick action when a child is found in a home where meth is manufactured.
All of the children discovered in the most recent arrests are under the age of four, the youngest being just seven months old.
The latest meth raid comes Friday evening just outside of Cairo. Three people are arrested, charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, but authorities were shocked to find a seven-month-old inside this home.
CAPT Tim Gainous with the Grady County Sheriff's Office said, "Not being medially certified to make that determination, the child was in some distress just simply from the condition of the home."
ER Dr. Kimberly Harbin says she's already treated several children this year that were removed from suspected meth labs.
"There's not a drug that we give that immediately counteracts it and makes the person sober again and everything is ok. It's a matter of watching and waiting and supporting that individual until their symptoms go away."
Harbin says a lot of the chemicals used to make meth are toxic to the respiratory system, a symptom that shows up almost immediately, but there isn't much research on the long-term effects of exposure to these chemicals.
Harbin added, "We want to know if these kids have actually ingested or been exposed to the chemicals there."
Sheriff Harry Young with the Grady County Sheriff's Office said, "Their skin breaks out, sores. They get the same effects as a regular person taking it in. Those same toxins come out of their body. It gets on their skin and it affects them the same way as someone taking meth."
Sheriff Young says those that were arrested in connection to making meth can also face child endangerment charges for exposing the toddlers to these dangerous chemicals.
As for the five children removed from the homes, the infant was placed with a family member. Of the other four, two were also placed with family members and two were placed in temporary foster care.
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