This is so scary.
Earlier this week in Hopewell, Virginia, seven children, all under the age of eight, were found suffering effects of an apparent overdose after taking sleeping pills. Even stranger, the pills were apparently handed out by a 7-year-old!
According to local outlet WTVR-TV, authorities arrived at the apartment on Wednesday night to find four children, ages one, two, three, and four, unresponsive. In another room, three other kids were awake but lethargic. They were all rushed to the hospital where they were treated for an overdose. The three youngest kids are in serious condition while the other four are expected to be fine, per WRIC-TV.
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The Hopewell Police Department revealed the mother of three of the children dropped her kids off at the apartment where the mom of the others was supposed to be babysitting all seven. But things went awry when that mom decided to run to the corner store at around 5 p.m., leaving the children at home. When she got back, she told police she noticed they “weren’t acting right.”
That’s because while she was out, authorities believe, the 7-year-old child got access to his prescription medicine and handed it out to everyone. She noticed the empty pill bottle in the home and quickly called 911. Lieutenant Cheyenne Casale told WTVR:
“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.”
While the pill bottle didn’t have a label on it, after consulting with doctors and questioning the 7-year-old, authorities have narrowed down the pills as the problem, the outlet noted.
Innerestingly, WRIC-TV also reported that the mom told the police department that she informed a man inside her home that she was leaving, and he was supposedly instructed to be keeping an eye on the little ones. However, she admitted she may not have communicated that clearly enough. Investigators are still trying to confirm if another adult was even present at the time of the incident.
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As of now, no charges have been filed, but the Hopewell Police Department and DCF are conducting investigations to make sure that the children return to a safe environment. WRIC-TV confirmed that the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office has been notified of the situation should authorities decide to charge anyone.
These families are so fortunate that help was provided fast enough. We’ll be keeping the little ones in our thoughts as they recover. This just stands as a serious reminder to keep medicine and other potentially dangerous substances far away from children’s reach — and watch your kids!