Some frazzled parents are drugging their kids if they’re too loud and hyper, and the results are often tragic.
According to CNN, researchers looked at 21-million calls to the National Poison Data System over a 9 year period. The result: Hundreds of kids, mostly under age 7, were given drugs by a parent or caretaker, including painkillers, sedatives, hypnotics, cough syrup, cold medicine, and even stimulants like cocaine! More than 10 percent of them died, and most of the parents went to prison.
In Massachusetts, the parents of a 4-year-old girl were convicted of first-degree murder for giving her a lethal dose of a drug used to calm down kids with ADHD. Another case involved a babysitter who killed a 4-month-old girl by giving her an entire bottle of sinus relief medication. And a Montana day care owner was convicted of killing a 1-year-old after giving a fatal dose of cough medicine to put the child to sleep.
So why on Earth would parents and caretakers drug kids? ER pediatrician Dr. Shan Yin published research on this in the journal Pediatrics, and he suspects most parents drug their kids because they feel overwhelmed and want a break.
And some parents defend their right to drug their kids. They say it’s better than screaming at them or hitting them.
But Dr. Yin points out that any time you give a child medicine they don’t need, you put their life at risk. And drugging your kid is just another form of child abuse. Yin says he hopes his study makes people think twice about using drugs to calm children.