Search icon


26th Mar 2022

7 kids, including toddler, overdose on sleeping tablets handed out by 7-year-old in the US

Laura Grainger

Medicine should always be stored out of the reach and sight of children.

Seven children under the age of eight have been hospitalised in the US after overdosing on sleeping tablets handed out by one of them.

Three children are in serious condition while four are stable after one of them, a 7-year-old, shared the prescription medication with the others – one of whom is a toddler.

The incident took place at an apartment in Hopewell, Virginia, on Wednesday night.

WTVR-TV reports that police arrived at the apartment to find four of the children unresponsive, while the other three were in a different room, awake but lethargic.

All seven were rushed to hospital. Despite the serious condition of three of the kids, authorities say all are expected to recover.

Police understand that the mother of three of the children had dropped them off at the home of the mother of the other four, where the latter was to mind all seven kids.

The second mother briefly left the home to run to the corner shop and returned to find that the kids “weren’t acting right”. She then noticed an empty prescription pill bottle and called emergency services.

“They were left unsupervised for a short period of time, and one of the kids that has prescription medication got into it and shared with the other children,” Lt. Cheyenne Casale of Hopewell Police Department told WTVR.

According to WRIC-TV, the second mother told police that a man was in the home at the time and she had informed him she was leaving, though she admitted she may not have clearly communicated that she expected him to keep an eye on the kids.

People reports that investigators have yet to confirm if there was a man in the home at the time.

Though no charges have been filed, an investigation is underway.

According to the CDC, around 50,000 children end up hospitalised every year in the US after getting at medication while an adult wasn’t around.

The organisation insists any type of medication should be stored high out of children’s reach and sight.