Tainted food sickened 120 children in three kindergartens in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, on Tuesday, and the cause－which some believe was cake－is under investigation, the city's education authority said on Wednesday.
As of 11.30 pm Tuesday, 120 children had been diagnosed with food poisoning at Jiangxi Provincial Children's Hospital. Of those, 36 were hospitalised, 62 were held for observation and 22 who had mild symptoms were sent home after treatment.
Symptoms included vomiting, dizziness and abdominal pain, but no fever.
Feng Shengzhe, a 3-year-old boy, was among the sick children. His father, who declined to give his name, said the boy ate a cake on Tuesday afternoon at the kindergarten and started vomiting at around 5 pm before dinner.
"More than 40 children in my son's kindergarten ate the cake, and 10 began vomiting," the father said.
Lian Qinchen, another hospitalised 3-year-old boy, who came from another kindergarten, also started vomiting at around 5 pm on Tuesday after eating a cake at the kindergarten, his mother said.
By 4 pm Tuesday, no new cases had showed up, but 32 children remained hospitalised for treatment, according to a statement released by the provincial health authorities.
The city's health and education departments said they are working with the police as well as local food and drug authorities to investigate the incident. Parents suspected the problem was tainted cakes from the same producer.
"The kindergarten has been buying cakes from a shop which they think are very good," Feng Shengzhe's father said. "I really worry about it, and I will take my son out of the kindergarten when he recovers."
He added that the family will seek compensation from the kindergarten, including medical fees and his loss of income incurred by missing work.
Lian's mother said the kindergarten should increase its awareness of food safety.
Zhang Yi contributed to this story.