10/18/2013 15:55 EDT | Updated 12/18/2013 05:12 EST

Number of alleged victims growing in Kitchener poisoning case

A Kitchener woman charged in July for allegedly poisoning two children is facing new charges. 

The Waterloo Regional Police Service has laid additional criminal charges against Christine Allen, 32, who is now accused of poisoning a total of nine people - one adult and 8 children. Police say the children involved in these latest cases range in age from one day old to two years.

Allen now faces nine counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and nine counts of administering a noxious substance. 

Police accuse Allen of feeding eight children and one adult tetrahydrozoline, a drug found in over-the-counter eye care products that can cause serious illness if ingested. 

“It can cause symptoms such as drowsiness, low blood pressure, respiratory difficulties and a decreased heart rate and this is especially true for young children,” said Alana Holtom, corporate communications manager with the WRPS. “The victims have recovered to a certain extent, but certainly their illnesses at the time were significant.”

Police first started investigating the case in March when a child who was under the care of the suspect was taken to a local hospital. 

During the investigation, police uncovered another incident in which a child was brought to hospital with similar symptoms. That incident occurred in July 2010 while Allen was running an unlicenced daycare, police said.

Allen, who police say also uses the name Christine Keilbar, ran the daycare from a home in the Pioneer Park area of Kitchener from 2009 to 2011, police said. 

“We are concerned there may be other victims as well, so we continue to appeal to the public for more information,” said Holtom.