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More reforms needed to put children's safety first | Updated: 2014-03-24 10:53

China's record on child safety is once again under fire after suspected food poisoning in a rural kindergarten in southwest China's Yunnan province killed two pupils and left 30 hospitalized on Wednesday.

This latest development came at a sensitive time, as China's preschool managers have also been criticized for failing to stop teachers illegally administer antiviral drugs to pupils.

Over the past few days, several kindergartens in northwest China's Shaanxi province, northeastern Jilin and central Hubei provinces have been accused of feeding pupils moroxydine, a prescribed drug that fights the flu virus. While the schools were allegedly motivated by wanting to guarantee attendance, some kids felt sick after taking the drug.

A parent surnamed Zhang from Xi'an of Shaanxi felt very puzzled. "So many unexpected things have happened to our kids, like tainted milk, avoidable school bus crashes and child abuse. We do not know who can be trusted."

The cases Zhang mentioned have set alarm bells ringing in China and ushered in reforms in certain areas.

The reputation of Chinese dairy products was seriously undermined by a scandal in 2008, when unscrupulous Chinese milk producers were found to have mixed melamine with their products to cheat protein content tests.

The incident led to the deaths of at least six Chinese babies and left another 300,000 ill. Even today, Chinese authorities and the milk industry are still working to restore consumer confidence.

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