Police are reminding the public to keep medication locked up and in a secure location after a 13-month-old Whitby, Ont. boy died last month from ingesting a pill found in a family member’s home.
Durham Regional Police said the Toronto-area family was visiting relatives on Nov. 19 when the toddler somehow wandered into a bedroom and swallowed a morphine-type pill.
“When the younger ones came to the house it was kind of unexpected. They kind of forgot to lock the door,” Sgt. Bill Calder said. “They don’t know for a fact if it was one that was set aside on the table or if it was one on the ground.”
Police said the parents didn’t realize the boy had ingested the pill until after they had reached the Pickering Town Centre shopping mall and noticed the child wasn’t breathing.
“We had our police officers and EMS at the Pickering Town Centre performing CPR and everything in their power to help save the boy but when he got to the hospital it was too late,” Calder said.
Police said the boy passed away in hospital two days later.
“If you have anything that is considered dangerous to anyone other than the person it was prescribed to, take action today. Don’t let it wait until it is too late. Make sure it is secured. Check your property,” Calder explained.
Police said the family, which did not want to be identified, came forward to warn others that the simple action to lock your medicine cabinet or bedroom door can save a life, especially when children are around.
“You’d hate to think you dropped one of these pills and this one here might not be dangerous to an adult but it was definitely dangerous to a child,” Calder said.
“We consider it a terrible family tragedy. From the perspective of the family, they’re saying, ‘Let’s not let this happen to anyone else.’”