If further toxicology tests confirm preliminary results, four-year-old Tyranne Beckless will be the seventh child under five years of age to die after swallowing opioids in Milwaukee County in the last 19 months.
The youngster was pronounced dead at a home on Milwaukee’s north side last week, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, and two people have been arrested in connection with his April 15 death, a tragedy which is being called a “probable opioid overdose.”
It is being reported that Beckless lived with his parents, sister, and brother, but officials declined to give further information due to an ongoing investigation.
Statistics show that the number of U.S. toddler fatalities has risen steadily during the past 10 years. “In 2000, 14 children in the U.S. under age 5 died after ingesting opioids. By 2015, that number climbed to 51,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Toxicologist Sara J. Schreiber of the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office said that most opioid deaths of young children are preventable.
Parents are often criminally charged with the deaths of their young children.
“In the case of a toddler, especially if they’re mobile, they’ve got access to a lot of things in the home as long as they’re within their reach,” she said, adding, “So, the risk is there and the danger is there, inherently, just by having those drugs available in the home.”
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