Some of the youngest
opioid victims are curious toddlers
The Associated Press
MILWAUKEE — Curious toddlers find the drugs in a mother's purse or
accidentally dropped on the floor. Sometimes a parent fails to secure
the child-resistant cap on a bottle of painkillers.
No matter how it happens, if a 35-pound toddler grabs just one opioid
pill, chews it and releases the full concentration of a time-released
adult drug into their small bodies, death can come swiftly.
These are some of the youngest victims of the nation's opioid epidemic
— children under age 5 who die after swallowing opioids. The number of
children's deaths is still small relative to the overall toll from
opioids, but toddler fatalities have climbed steadily over the last 10
In 2000, 14 children in the U.S. under age 5 died after ingesting
opioids. By 2015, that number climbed to 51, according to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention. In Milwaukee County, Wisconsin,
alone, four children died last year of accidental overdoses. Another
2-year-old perished in January.
Each family who loses a toddler to opioids confronts a death that
probably could have been prevented. Here are a few of their stories:
An energetic birthday girl, a methadone mystery...
Read the rest of this article, and others, at the Medina Gazette