Three of them are currently in serious condition.
Seven children aged between 1 and 7 have been hospitalized in Virginia after one of them, a seven-year-old, handed out sleeping pills to the group, police say. According to WTVR-TV, authorities arrived at an apartment in Hopewell, Va., to find four children ages one, two, three and four unresponsive. Three other children, two age 6 and another age 7, were also found showing signs of sleepiness. They were found in a different room and were awake but lethargic. The children were all rushed to the hospital where hree of the kids were in serious condition, while the other four were in stable condition.
The adult supposed to be supervising them left to go to the store, police said: https://t.co/e1zYFFnube— TooFab (@TooFab) March 25, 2022
"They were left unsupervised for a short period of time and one of the kids that have prescription medication got into it and shared with the other children here," Lt. Cheyenne Casale with the Hopewell Police said. "I don't know the details of their treatment but some are being transported to other hospitals for further treatment," Casale added. The adult who was supervising the kids went to the corner store and when she returned home, she noticed the children "weren't acting right," police say. She saw an empty prescription bottle lying on the floor and realized how things might have turned out and called 911.
7 Kids, Including a Toddler, Overdose on Sleeping Pills Handed Out by 7-Year-Old, Cops Say https://t.co/YGLwCRODAm— People (@people) March 24, 2022
Hopewell Police said that three of the children — a one-year-old, a two-year-old, and a three-year-old — are in serious condition, as per WRIC, “They are expected to recover, but because they don’t know exactly how much of the prescription medication they ingested… so they are having a harder time processing and metabolizing [the drug].” The woman told the Hopewell PD that she informed a man who was in the home that she was leaving. She later admitted she may not have mentioned clearly that he was expected to watch the kids.
After consulting with doctors at John Randolph Medical Center, police were able to determine that sleeping pills are the focal point, as per ABC 7 Chicago. "I'm sorry. It's very emotional," said neighbor Melissa Baldwin. "As soon as we pulled around the corner, all I could see was police everywhere. You know? And I'm like, oh my God, what happened? And you know, we didn't see him taking anybody in ambulances or anything. We missed that part, fortunately, but a close neighbor that lives on the corner basically was telling us how even the police officers were helping bringing out the children and running them to the ambulances and such," Baldwin said.
Police have yet to determine where the prescription bottle came from, or how the children came to get their hands on it. The bottle was old and had its label rubbed off. Living conditions inside the home were described as "less than desirable," WTVR reported. Child Protective Services are involved at this time. The Hopewell Police Department and DCF are both investigating the case. "Find out who we can hold accountable and basically get these kids in a safe environment. That's our number one goal," Lt. Cheyenne Casale said.
Representational Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Sebastian Rose