More than half of the cases involved at least one sedating drug; 17 of the 18 deaths included sedatives.Yin said the poison data most likely underestimates the actual number of cases.
The circumstances around the 18 deaths were not clear, Yin said.
He did not have access to case notes and legal findings.
One mom, Jill Smokler, said she doesn't vilify parents who medicate their kids: "It's not the end of the world." "It's certainly better than being pushed to edge, spanking a child or slamming doors or really losing it," she said.
But drugging children with over-the-counter or prescription medications can have unintended consequences, said the author of a research published Thursday, who likened the practice to child abuse.
"If moms are at wit's end and the stress is building up and they're tired, that's not a good use of over-the-counter medications." Some parents use drugs to calm their children down in airplanes.
Smokler gave her daughter, who was then 1 1/2 years old, some Benadryl, expecting her to sleep through the two-hour flight. Benadryl, an antihistamine used to relieve irritated eyes, sneezing and a runny nose, had an energizing effect on her daughter.This year, a Massachusetts woman was sentenced to life in prison after she was found guilty in the death of her 4-year-old daughter, whose blood had a lethal level of a hypertension drug used to sedate children with ADHD.Her husband, who was tried separately, was convicted of first-degree murder, according to CNN affiliate NECN.You needn’t be afraid of sedation or general anesthesia for your child, but you should ask questions, said Dr.Raj Vij, administrative director of pediatric dentistry at Akron Children’s Hospital.In extreme cases such as these, the law determines whether the parent or caregivers' actions are criminal, said Dr.