7 children in Virginia house expected to recover after overdosing on pills

HOPEWELL, Va. — Seven children, all under the age of 8, were rushed to a Virginia hospital on Wednesday and treated for overdosing on what is believed to be a prescription medication, authorities said.

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According to the Hopewell Police Department, officials received a telephone call at about 5:30 p.m. EST reporting that four children -- ages 1, 2, 3 and 4 -- were found unresponsive, WTVR-TV reported. Three more children were found in a different part of the residence, the television station reported. They were awake but lethargic, police said.

Update 1:55 a.m. EDT March 25: The seven young children who were hospitalized Wednesday after they apparently ingested some pills are expected to fully recover, authorities said Thursday.

The mother of four of the children told police that her 7-year-old son had shared his anti-anxiety medication with the six younger children, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The woman arrived home after going to a nearby store and found the prescription bottle empty.

Lt. Cheyenne Casale, a spokesperson for the Hopewell Police Department, told reporters that authorities were not exactly sure what kind of medication the children ingested.

“Unfortunately, the label was kind of rubbed off and we couldn’t actually read the label,” Casale said.

The nature of the relationship between the four children who lived in the home and the other three children remained unclear on Thursday, according to the Times-Dispatch.

Original report: According to police, a woman dropped three of her children at the home and left to go to a nearby store, leaving the seven children unsupervised, WWBT-TV reported. Police suspect the children all took the prescription drugs, the television station reported. It is unclear how the children gained access to the medication, but police found empty pill bottles in the home after executing a search warrant, according to WTVR.

The woman called 911 when she returned, WTVR reported.

All seven children were taken to John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell, according to the television station. The two youngest children were later transferred to another hospital in serious condition.

According to police, it is believed that one of the older children, possibly around 7 years old, found the medication and gave the drugs to the younger children, WWBT reported.

“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 told reporters.

No charges have been filed at this point, police said. An investigation is ongoing, according to WTVR.

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