A recent Canadian study has shown that mothers who take opioids prescriptions put their kids at risk of overdosing more than the mothers who don’t use them and instead opt for another class of self-prescribed painkillers. The papers explain the danger of keeping the opioids within the reach of the children. Such painkillers include oxycodone, codeine and methadone.

A co-author of the study Dr. David Juurlink who also heads Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto says that the drugs are very common in most households in North America, to the extent that the users don’t consider how dangerous they are to their kids. They can store the drugs carelessly in areas where the children can find them with ease.

Finding a explanation of the overdoses

The paper that was published on Monday marks the first time that researchers are trying to determine the risk posed by the opioids prescriptions that their mothers get. The painkiller is like morphine and its overuse can lead to addiction.

One of the authors who are also a pediatrician was hopeful of discovering the cascaded effect on the children after the prescriptions to their parents. They were in the lookout for the dangerous effects that may be related to children of the opioid takers.

Between 2002 and 2015, about 103 children below ten years received treatment in various hospitals in Ontario after opioid overdose cases. Their mothers had been given medication that included non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and aspirin. They also had opioid prescription.

There were no cases of deaths from the 103 kids, but 39 of them were very sick to warrant admission for closer monitoring, 13 of them were critically ill and the rest were treated normally and discharged. The worrying part is that half of the children were below the age of two years.

Most cases blamed on opioids

The observation showed that the affected children whose mothers took opioid prescriptions were the most affected. Their rate of effect was at 2 ½ times higher than the others whose mothers had taken the other types of painkillers. Mothers who bought NSAID had a reprieve because their children suffered minimal effects

Codeine was the major culprit

The study indicated that most of the overdose was on codeine use and was found on the tests of more than half of the 103 samples. Oxycodone took the second position while methadone was the last.

Nine of the kids were below one year of age to denote that they might have been neglected. Or the overdose was a case of malice, because they were you young to be able to pick a pill and put it in their mouth.

Dr. Juurlink indicated that the 103 cases were just the tip of the iceberg. The overdose is linked more to their mothers more and not to their fathers or siblings.