HOPEWELL, Va. — A house full of unsupervised children in Virginia were given sleeping pills by another child, causing them to be hospitalized Wednesday evening, police said.
The Hopewell Fire Department was called to a home on South 16th Street around 4:30 p.m. where they found four children, ages 1, 2, 3 and 4, breathing but unresponsive, according to NBC affiliate WWBT of Richmond.
Hopewell is more than 20 miles southeast of the city.
Three more children found in another part of the home were awake but lethargic, CBS affiliate WTVR of Richmond reported.
Investigators said the pill bottle found didn’t have a label on it, according to the news station. However, after questioning a 7-year-old and consulting with doctors, they were able to determine the medication was sleeping pills, according to WTVR.
Lt. Cheyenne Casale of the Hopewell Police Department said that the kids were left alone for a short period of time and that one of the kids who had prescription medication “got into it and shared with the other children here.” It was not immediately clear if the medication was prescribed to the 7-year-old child.
All seven children were taken to a hospital and the two youngest were later transported to another hospital in serious condition.
“I don’t know the details of their treatment but some are being transported to other hospitals for further treatment,” Casale told WTVR.
The adult who was supervising the children left to go to a store and called 911 upon returning and finding the children. It was not immediately clear the adult’s relationship to the children or if they faced any charges.
Child Protective Services was called. Police did not say what happened to the 7-year-old after the other children were hospitalized.
“Find out who are we going to hold accountable and get these kids in a safe environment, that’s our number one goal,” Casale said.