Mother charged after boy, 2, drinks pipe cleaner while alone

QUARRYVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – A 2-year-old sustained life-threatening internal burns from drinking pipe cleaner after his mother left the boy and three other young children alone in a Lancaster County barn, authorities said.

Katie Zook, 29, of Quarryville, admitted to police to leaving the children unsupervised on a Drytown Road farm for at least an hour, according to Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman’s office.

The boy was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital on July 26 after drinking the pipe cleaner, which was stored in the dairy barn.

The three other children in the barn were 4, 5, and 6 years old.

Zook was charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor count of endangering a child.

She told a state trooper it was common for her children to be alone, and she said she “does not intend to change as a result of this incident,” police wrote in a criminal complaint.

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