The opioid epidemic is claiming another victim: young children who are neglected by their addicted parents. That’s according to the newest annual report on child fatalities in Washington state.
Between 2013 and 2016, opioid use was a factor in the maltreatment deaths of 33 children under the age of three in Washington.
The new child mortality report says nearly two-thirds of those deaths were related to unsafe sleep conditions.
But there was also a two-year-old who died from physical abuse at the hands of a caregiver experiencing withdrawal from Oxycodone. And a three-year-old who died after accidentally swallowing a combination of drugs.
To address this trend, the state’s Family and Children’s Ombudsman recommends expanding treatment services and a state program that pairs nurses with vulnerable first-time expectant mothers.
Overall in 2016, the Ombudsman reviewed 63 child fatality cases and 28 near fatalities.
Other major risk factors included mental health issues and a history of domestic violence.
Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network