Your Toddler

Shopping Cart Injuries: 66 Children Hurt Every Day

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A new study reveals that shopping carts and children can be a dangerous combination. I’m not surprised at the amount of injuries researchers from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio found. The study notes that, in the United States alone, 66 children a day are hurt because of falls and spills from being in a shopping cart. That’s one child injured badly enough every 22 minutes to go to the emergency room, or more than 24, 000 children a year. According to a new analysis of data from 1990 to 2011 by Dr. Gary Smith, director of Nationwide’s Center for Injury Research and Policy, the annual number of concussions, linked to shopping carts in children less than 15 years old, has risen nearly 90 percent since voluntary shopping cart safety standards took effect in 2004 “This is a setup for a major injury,” Smith said. “The major group we are concerned about are children under 5.” His study is published in the January issue of the journal Clinical Pediatrics. Newborns and children under 4 years old account for nearly 85 percent of the injuries. More than 70 percent of the harm was caused by falls out of shopping carts, followed by running into a cart or carts tipping over. It only takes a moment for a parent to look away for a shopping cart accident to happen, Smith said. A wiggly baby in an infant seat or a toddler reaching for a bright box of cereal can easily cause a fall that results in serious injury. Children’s center of gravity is high, their heads are heavy and they don’t have enough arm strength to break a fall, Smith explained. In many other countries, shopping cart stability standards help prevent accidents, but the U.S. lacks those standards, Smith says. The reason a high a number of falls and spills doesn’t surprise me is because I see how easily it can happen every time I shop for groceries. For example: During a recent trip for groceries I saw a baby in a carrier that was placed (but not buckled) in the upper seating area of a shopping cart. A rambunctious child of around 5 years old was pushing the cart into a display loaded with cold and cough syrup medicines. In a pleasant but firm voice, I told him to stop. The mother was at the other end of the aisle looking at products. Most of the potential disasters I see involve a toddler that is not securely buckled and is trying to either stand up in or get out of the cart. Parents are either distracted or have left the child “just for a second” to unload their cart or grab another item. If your store provides carts that are low to the ground, like the toy cars, those are a safer option when taking your child with you shopping. If your store doesn’t, ask the manager to start providing those types of carts. If you must use a standard shopping cart, make sure that your child is secured and that you never leave his or her side. It only takes a second for a child to lose their balance or a baby carrier to fall to the ground. It's a long fall and a very unforgiving surface they'll land on. Source: JoNel Aleccia, http://www.nbcnews.com/health/shopping-cart-danger-66-kids-hurt-day-stud...

Your Toddler

Toddler Dies From Liquid Nicotine Poisoning

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The Fort Plain, New york police called the death a “tragic accident” after investigating the case of a 1-year-old who was rushed to the hospital after being found unresponsive in his home. The toddler died from ingesting liquid nicotine, also known as e-liquid, the key ingredient in e-cigarettes.

A lot of smokers, including teenagers, are switching from regular cigarettes to e-cigarettes and are now getting their nicotine fix by inhaling a vapor.  However, e-cigs are expensive and in an effort to cut costs, many will purchase vials of liquid nicotine to refill their e-cigarette; sort of like buying a carton of cigarettes instead of a couple of packs a day.

Liquid nicotine contains high levels of concentrated nicotine. It doesn’t take but a little bit to make someone very sick. The powerful stimulant can be accidently ingested or absorbed through the skin.  Even a teaspoonful of e-liquid can kill a child. Lesser amounts can cause seizures and other dangerous symptoms.

Like cigarettes, liquid nicotine should always be kept out of the reach of children and pets. Many of the vials come in bright colors with flavors such as bubblegum, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate - kids will be tempted to taste it. E-liquids are not regulated and do not have childproof caps. If carelessly left where a child or pet can find it, the results can quickly turn deadly.

Health officials are concerned that more fatal accidents could happen if steps aren’t taken to protect children.

"One teaspoon of liquid nicotine could be lethal to a child, and smaller amounts can cause severe illness, often requiring trips to the emergency department," the American Association of Poison Control centers in a statement, ABC News reported. "Despite the dangers these products pose to children, there are currently no standards set in place that require child-proof packaging."

In recent years, there's been a sharp rise in the number of liquid nicotine-related calls to U.S. poison control centers. Signs of consumption of liquid nicotine can include vomiting, increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, convulsions and, in extreme cases, loss of the ability to breathe or death.

The police in this case, said they weren’t sure that the e-liquid that killed the toddler was associated with an e-cigarette and so far, no charges have been filed in the death of the child. It was just a tragic accident.

Recent studies point out that electronic cigarette use is on the rise with high-school students. Some teens say they are using them to help stop smoking, while others are giving them a try for the first time- even though they don’t smoke. Researchers noted in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey, that even middle-school student use rose from 2.7% to 3% in 2013.

How do kids purchase liquid nicotine? It’s readily available on the Internet. All you do is fill in a birth date and you’re in. You can buy a gallon of the stuff if you have the money. You can also purchase little bottles to fill from your bulk buy. It’s that simple.

While adults may be more likely to keep their liquid nicotine vials put away, teens don’t often think of the consequences of leaving theirs on the floor, on a desk, on the bed, in a purse on the sofa, in a backpack on the kitchen table – wherever they usually drop their stuff - for a small child to find. 

In New York, the toddler’s death has prompted a call for changes in how liquid nicotine is packaged; requiring childproof caps and someone must be least 18 years old to purchase it at a store.

This is not a pro or con e-cigarette use article. It’s a warning for anyone that uses liquid nicotine to be very aware of where you leave your vial. This may have been the first reported case of a toddler dying from nicotine poisoning; let’s all do our part to make it the last.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20141215/toddler-dies-liquid-nicotine

Your Toddler

Falling TV Sets Can Be Deadly for Small Children

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The holidays are filled with joy, family, friends and presents. A popular present many families give themselves is a new TV. The old TV is sometimes regulated to the bedroom or guest room. While many of the newer models are lighter than the older ones, they can still crush a young child. Too often these TVs are not anchored well and sit on an eye-level stand.

A new report issued by The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) notes that 43,000 people have been injured by falling TV sets, with 59% of injuries being children.

CPSC urges parents of young children, to anchor their TV sets properly to help prevent these injuries. "We know that low-cost anchoring devices are effective in preventing tip-over incidents. I urge parents to anchor their TVs, furniture and appliances and protect their children. It takes just a few minutes to do and it can save lives," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

Between 2000 and 2011, 349 people were killed due to TVs or furniture falling on them. Sadly 84 % of those deaths were children younger than 9 years old. Many of the injuries were caused when the television set fell directly on the child’s head.

Public education had helped lower these statistics over the years, but the numbers in 2011 showed a sharp increase. In 2009 there were 27 deaths reported, in 2010 the number was slighter higher at 31 deaths and in 2011 the numbers jumped to 41. The size of televisions are also increasing, it’s not uncommon for sets to be 60 to 80 inches wide.

Reports show that many television related fatalities occur in bedrooms rather than living rooms. Many of the older and heavier sets are put in the bedroom and not secured.

A related study published in 2002 had found that the majority of television-tipping related accidents occur when toddlers are left unsupervised around the television sets.

New furniture and televisions are exciting and we can get in a hurry setting them up – be sure to secure anything that can be pulled over onto someone. These kinds of injuries and fatalities are definitely preventable.

Source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/13515/20121214/tipping-television-kills-children-cpsc-report.htm#vpeoGJy55VW3PhEl.99

Your Toddler

Does TV-Time Hurt Toddler’s Chance for Success?

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Many child health experts recommend that parents not allow their children, if they are 2 years old and younger, to watch any television. The reason is that this is a critical time for brain development and watching TV gets in the way of a child’s exploration, problem solving, playing and interacting with parents and others. Without real life stimulation, a child’s brain doesn’t get the chance it needs to develop in normal and healthy ways.

A new study now looks at how toddler TV-time may impact their first foray into the educational system.

The Canadian researchers examined how the TV-viewing habits of about 2,000 children in Quebec at the age of 29 months affected them once they started kindergarten.

Every hourly increase in daily TV viewing over the recommended two-hour limit at the younger age was associated with poorer vocabulary, math skills and attention; reduced physical abilities; and an increased risk of being picked on by classmates when the children started kindergarten.

"[The findings] suggest the need for better parental awareness and compliance with existing viewing recommendations put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics," study author Linda Pagani, a professor at the University of Montreal, said in a university news release.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.

 

Some parents may believe that kindergarten isn’t real school, but that it’s more of a pre-school adjustment period where kids get used to being in classrooms and learning very basic education skills. That’s true to a certain extent, however, kids need and deserve all the developmental advantages they can get as they begin their very important school years.

Although the study reported an association between more TV time and poorer skills in school, it did not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship. Study data and conclusions also typically are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Most likely your child’s future will include more media options than anyone can imagine today. Experts are already talking about the brain drain that too much multi-tasking and media surfing are having on older kids and adults. So give your little one a media free environment for at least his or her first two years of life. Let them explore the world by touching, smelling, seeing and hearing the wonders around them. There will be plenty of TV time in the future.

Source: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/08/20/how-toddlers-tv-time-can-hurt-kindergarten-success

 

 

Your Toddler

Babies: Two Languages are Better Than One

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We all know how difficult it can be to learn a second language, as you get older.  Even by the time you’re a teenager, it takes a lot more concentration and practice than it does for a younger child.

A new study shows that babies and toddlers that are bilingual may have an academic advantage over their monolingual peers when they get older. Being exposed to a second language in infancy not only helps a children learn a second language quicker, but may also help them with future studies.

How do scientists know this? By observing babies and how fast they become bored with familiar objects and then become intrigued by something new. Previous studies have shown that the rate at which an infant becomes bored with a familiar image and how fast they latch onto something more unique is a predictor of better pre-school developmental results.

For example, past studies have shown that babies who looked at the familiar image and then rapidly became bored demonstrated higher performance in various domains of cognition and language later on in life.

In the new study, scientists wanted to see if bilingual babies might have an advantage over monolingual babies in this regard.

Infants were shown a colored image of either a bear or a wolf. For half of the group, the bear was made to become the "familiar" image while the wolf was the "novel" one. The reverse was true for the other half of the group. In the end, the scientists found that bilingual babies became bored of familiar images far more quickly than single-language babies.

"One of the biggest challenges in infant research is data collection," said Leher Singh, lead author of the new study, in a news release. "Visual habituation works wonderfully because it only takes a few minutes and capitalizes on what babies do so naturally, which is to rapidly become interested in something new and then rapidly move on to something else. Even though it is quite a simple task, visual habituation is one of the few tasks in infancy that has been shown to predict later cognitive development."

Just learning and speaking one language is a marvel of brain ingenuity. Learning two languages is a cognitive developing workout.  It trains the brain to think differently and to associate more than one word with the same image or thought.

In this case, the researchers found that bilingual babies may just have increased cognitive performance due to being exposed to two languages.

"As adults, learning a second language can be painstaking and laborious," said Singh. "We sometimes project that difficulty onto our young babies, imagining a state of enormous confusion as two languages jostle for space in their little heads. However, a large number of studies have shown us that babies are uniquely well positioned to take on the challenges of bilingual acquisition and in fact, may benefit from this journey."

The findings were published in the journal Child Development.

Source: Catherine Griffin,  http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/16963/20140903/being-exposed-two-languages-increase-cognitive-benefits-babies.htm

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Your Toddler

Study: Steroids Do Not Help Wheezing Kids

Steroid drugs, one of the most common treatments for young children prone to wheezing and colds do not help and may even be harmful, according to new research. Two different studies were published in the January 2009 New England Journal of Medicine. One study, conducted in Britain looked at preschoolers who were hospitalized with a wheezing attack and treated with the steroid prednisolone. The study showed that the children stayed hospitalized just as long as other children who were given dummy pills.

The second study focused on children in Canada who had previous wheezing trouble and took the steroid fluticasone as a preventative measure. That study showed modest improvement in breathing but the side effect of possible stunted growth outweighed the benefits, researchers said. Wheezing, a high-pitched whistling noise as a person exhales, occurs when air struggles to get through narrowed airways. Parents often bring their children to emergency rooms thinking their kids can't breathe. Dr. Bradley Chipps, an allergy specialist in Sacramento, California, told the Associated Press that the research "gives us good information that what we've been doing doesn't work." "It gives us a lead to pursue a safer alternative," he said. Dr. Chipps is on the allergy and immunology executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics and had no role in the study.

Your Toddler

Are Little Girl's Toys Too Sexy?

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Peter Pan may never have grown up, but Tinker Bell and her fairy friends definitely have. The Disney Fairies boast hourglass figures, coy glances and barely-there mini dresses. In short, these girls aren’t your mama’s pixies.Notice anything new about the dolls and ponies that your daughter picks up at the toy store these days? Once you get a good look at them, do you think they may be a little too hot-to-trot? You're not alone.

An article on this week’s MSNBC’s website, offers a look into the world of children’s sexed-up play things. Peter Pan may never have grown up, but Tinker Bell and her fairy friends definitely have. The Disney Fairies boast hourglass figures, coy glances and barely-there mini dresses. In short, these girls aren’t your mama’s pixies. Even trolls have come of age. Those formerly stout, pug-nosed kewpies, have reemerged in a new slim, thigh-baring line called Trollz. Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake have become tweens and shed their baby fat.  And et tu Holly Hobbie? She’s traded her prairie dresses for a saucy wardrobe and lightened locks. In recent years, Disney, Mattel and other major companies have revisited a host of iconic dolls and turned them into freshly tarted-up — or at least more grown-up —toys. New lines, like the Monster High Dolls and hot-to-trot Struts horses (yes, horses),  came out of the gate tramping it up and they're making some parents — and psychologists, uncomfortable. “They send the message to kids that you can’t just be you,” says Lori Mayfield, a 30-year-old mother of four from Draper, Utah. “It seems like toy makers are setting up our kids.” While she likes the Disney fairies because they “have a good friendship and there’s always a lesson to be learned,” she says that even she and her husband, Chad, were startled by their saucy style. The actually found themselves recently debating which fairy is the hottest. (Consensus: Silvermist.)  Mayfield, who runs the blog, Twinfinity from her home, says she and her husband strive to teach the kids that beauty comes from within, but frets that her 6-year-old daughter is already asking to wear makeup and worrying whether her coat makes her look fat. Dale Atkins, a psychologist says she's upset about what the revved-up dolls are teaching girls about their own appearance.  “When we have these ridiculous models —sexualized children, and horses with long eyelashes that are flirtatious and all of that — it sets up this ideal of beauty and body image that kids have to pay attention to because they can’t not pay attention to it. And they feel less good as they’re trying to develop a good sense about their own bodies," she says. "The sexualized aspect just makes them feel like they're only good if they are objectified. ... And it's all so subtle, for a child anyway. We parents and adults look at this and say, 'Oh my gosh, this is so blatant, but in fact it's subtle because kids are playing with these things and then they look in the mirror." But representatives at Mattel, the makers of the wildly popular Monster High Dolls, say its controversial line of toy dolls, featuring the teen offspring of monsters, aims to show kids it's OK to be different. “Monster High is all about celebrating your imperfections and accepting the imperfections of others," says Margaux Vega, spokeswoman for Mattel.  She acknowledges that the dolls, which sport fishnet stockings, heavy makeup and ultrashort skirts, appeal mostly to 5- to 7-year-olds. But they also have online personas and webisodes aimed at older kids that tell each doll's back-story. "Clawdeen Wolf is the teenage daughter of a werewolf. In the webisodes, she has to shave and wax and pluck between classes," Vega says. "Girls of a certain age know about the embarrassment of unwanted hair in unwanted places.” 'Why does she look like a boy?' It's gotten so that some kids, even young tots, expect that dolls will look like they've already been through puberty.  When Joy Oglesby showed her daughter, Lauren Welmaker, a picture of the old version of Tinker Bell in a library book, the 4-year-old, who has all the new Disney fairies, wondered: "Why does she look like a boy?" Oglesby, 34, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has seen Struts horses, which have long eyelashes and wear high heels on their hooves, and says her daughter would love one. "The mane is silky and she would be attracted to the eyes, and the accessories that come with it. It looks very girly, I'm not sure why she gravitates to this kind of toy, but I'm not worried about it yet." But the effect of titillating toys creeps in slowly, says Peggy Orenstein, the author of the bestseller “Cinderella Ate my Daughter.” “Girls don’t naturally want to be sexy — they want to be girls,” says Orenstein. “That is natural. [But] when they continue to see images of toys that are supposed to be age appropriate emulating sexiness, then that un-natural aspiration, becomes natural.”  Orenstein says toy manufacturers began following the marketing strategy “Kids Getting Older Younger” when they realized that toys marketed towards kids between the ages of 8 and 12 were attracting kids who were in the 3-year-old to 8-year-old age range because they wanted to emulate their older brothers and sisters. But Donna Tobin, director of global brand strategy and marketing for Hasbro, says the company actually has gone the opposite direction with makeovers for its toy My Little Pony, aimed at girls ages 3 to 6. "We want our girls to stay little longer!" she says. "Look at My Little Pony. She’s cute. She’s pretty. She’s pink. She may have a different look, but she has always stood for friendship. We’re not about ipstick or shaving." As younger kids gravitate to older toys earlier, their big sisters and brothers often have already closed up their toy boxes and moved on to other things. At ages 6 and 8, sisters Amanda and Sophia Oliva of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., aren't interested in playing princess anymore, says their mom, Lauri. When they play dress up, they pretend to be models. And their newest obsession is with teen music sensation Taylor Swift. “Now, everything in our house is about Taylor Swift," says Lauri Oliva, 46. Sophia tries to emulate her. She'll sing and dance Taylor Swift karaoke songs in the mirror.” For Sophia's birthday, all she wanted was tickets to a Swift concert. "Kids are 8 going on 15 these days,” she says. What is old is new again Some kids' toys aren't necessarily being marketed to kids, but rather to their parents, says Reyne Rice, trend specialist for the Toy Industry Association. She says updating the look of a toy is a way manufacturers can appeal to the new generation of consumers while still tapping into the nostalgic interest and collector dollars of the older generation.  “A lot of these toy manufacturers realized the interest in brands that have been around for generations and realized there was still interest in the brands — from both the children as young as 3, as well as their parents,” says Rice. But Dr. Gail Saltz, psychiatrist, suggests parents actually seek out their old favorites instead of embracing some of the "refreshed" versions. “You have to use your judgment,” she says — and maybe hit up eBay or garage sales for the classic versions. “If you have a choice, I’d take the old Strawberry Shortcake.” Saltz says these sexed-up toys and childhood icons go in the same category as violent video games and PG-13 movies: Parents need to take a close look, evaluate them for themselves, and decide whether they’re appropriate. Melissa Walker, 41, of Southlake, Texas, walks the line of finding suitable toys for her daughters Gabrielle, 6, and Adeline,4, while letting them indulge their interests. Gabrielle loves the Disney fairies and says her favorite is Rosetta, "because she's pink and that's my favorite color. And because I like flowers and she makes flowers." (Rosetta is the red-headed fairy with a "garden talent.") Walker doesn't mind the Disney fairy makeover because of the overall message they send. "They control everything. They are in charge of seasons, of things working. They are good role models," says Walker. But she draws the line at sexy doll clothes. On a recent shopping trip to Costco, Walker saw a big bin of Barbie clothes, but despite her daughters' love for the doll, her cart remained empty. "There was not one outfit that wasn't a 'hoochie' dress. I guess it was the 'Barbie Goes Wild' collection. We didn't buy anything. There's no reason for that," adding that she's happy to buy Barbie outfits where she looks like a doctor or a princess or a soccer player. Walker has a strict "no exposed belly buttons" rule in her house, and figures her kids' dolls should follow it, too. "We don't want to plant that too soon," she says. "We'll have that fight soon enough."

Your Toddler

Magnets in Toys Pose Broad Dangers

Parents need to be better warned about potential health risks and symptoms of children swallowing toys with magnets.When giving your child toys this holiday season, parents need to be better warned about potential health risks and symptoms of children swallowing toys with magnets. That is the warning from a new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. When ingested, multiple magnets can stick together across a bowel wall, leading to infection in the digestive tract, the need for surgery and even death. The study also found that parents often don't seek medical attention for a child who has swallowed a magnet as quickly as necessary.

The findings are based on the analysis of 121 magnet-swallowing cases in 21 counties and were published online in the journal Pediatric Radiology. "The majority of swallowed magnetic objects were components of toy sets, including many well-known brands," study author Dr. Alan Oestreich, a professor of radiology at Cincinnati Children's, said in a hospital news release. "Many of the children represented in the survey were 5 years of age or younger and dependent on their parents or guardians to ensure they do not have access to multiple small magnets." The authors urged parents to pay particular attention when buying toys for small children as written warnings are not mandatory on toys containing magnets. Symptoms of ingested magnets can be mild and flu-like, but nausea, vomiting, cramps or abdominal pain should be given medical attention.

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Your Toddler

Pain Patch, Serious Threat to Young Children

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For people who suffer with severe chronic pain, a slow released Fentanyl skin patch offers a respite from agony. However, the powerful pain reliever can be deadly for young children who accidently get a hold of a discarded or unopened patch.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a Drug Safety Communication to warn parents, caregivers and health care workers about the dangers of accidental exposure to and improper storage and disposal of fentanyl patches.

In 2012, a toddler in Deerfield, Massachusetts accidently ingested a fentanyl patch after visiting a family member in a nursing home. The child’s great-grandmother was on fentanyl patches for pain. The boy’s parents believe the patch was improperly discarded and either stuck to a Halloween candy bucket or his toy truck while he was playing on the floor. The child ingested the patch 2 or 3 days after the visit and died from an overdose. An autopsy found the patch in the boy’s throat.

The FDA is aware of 32 cases of children who were accidentally exposed to fentanyl since 1997, most of them involving children younger than age 2. There have been 12 deaths and 12 cases requiring hospitalization.

"These types of events are tragic; you never want this to happen. We are looking for ways that we can help prevent this from happening in the future," Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. "This reinforces the need to talk to patients and their families to make sure that these patches are stored, used and disposed of carefully."

The fentanyl patches contain a powerful opioid narcotic and are sometimes given to patients who are suffering from cancer and for other debilitating pain causing conditions that have not responded to non-fentanyl pain relievers. The brand name is Duragesic.

A fentanyl overdose -- caused when a child either puts a patch in his or her mouth or applies it to the skin -- can cause death by slowing breathing and increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, the FDA said.

Other overdose symptoms for fentanyl may include:

-       Extreme weakness or dizziness

-       Pinpoint pupils

-       Cold and clammy skin

-       Weak pulse

-       Fainting

The FDA said Monday that it approved changes to the Duragesic patch so the name of the drug and its strength will be printed on the patch in long-lasting ink in a clearly visible color. The agency added that it has asked manufacturers of the generic versions to make the same changes. The previous ink color varied by strength and was not always easy to see.

If you have Duragesic patches in your home make sure that they are properly discarded and that young children are not able to reach them. Older children, such as adolescents should not have access to them as well. A combination of alcohol and fentanyl can quickly become deadly.

Fentanyl is the strongest legal narcotic available. The U.S. government classifies it as a Schedule II Controlled Substance and highly addictive.

Source: http://children.webmd.com/news/20130923/pain-patches-children?printing=true

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