7 children, all under 8, hospitalized after ingesting prescription drugs found at home
HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) – Seven children were rushed to hospital on Wednesday after taking what officials believe was a prescription drug at a home in Hopewell, Va.
Hopewell Police said three of the children – a 1-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old – are in serious condition. The other four children should be fine.
Police say the woman supervising the children called Hopewell Fire and EMS when she realized the children were “not doing well”.
Police said firefighters arrived and immediately found four children – a 1-year-old, a 2-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old – lethargic and unresponsive but breathing. The other three children were later found in the house and all were taken to Chippenham Hospital.
The fire department contacted Hopewell Police believing an overdose or poisoning had occurred.
Officials said some of the children were dropped off at home by their mother, who left them in the care of a woman who had other children at home. At some point during the day, the woman babysitting left the children to go to the store, police said.
The woman later told police she had informed another occupant of the house that she was leaving, but admitted he may not have been clearly instructed to watch the children while she was away. Police did not say whether or not the children were home alone.
Police said the woman noticed the children behaving strangely when she returned home, but did not immediately think about it. She then saw an empty prescription bottle lying on the floor and realized the children may have ingested the drug, police say.
Police have not been able to determine where the prescription bottle came from, or how the children got their hands on it. Officials said the prescription was not immediately identifiable because it was an old bottle and the label had been rubbed off.
Authorities contacted child protective services after the incident. The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office has also been contacted.