Police in Washington state issue alert after three young children overdose on fentanyl within one week

EVERETT, Wash. – The police and fire departments in Everett, Washington are warning the public about fentanyl after three young children overdosed on the synthetic opioid in less than a week. A news release from the departments says that one child has died.

The first overdose happened on Saturday, April 20, when authorities say firefighters were called to a house after parents found their 11-month-old child unresponsive. The baby was given Narcan before firefighters arrived and is now in stable condition and has been released from the hospital.

The second overdose occurred on Wednesday, April 24 at an apartment building. Police say they received a call about a six-month-old baby who was having difficulty breathing. When firefighters arrived, they found the baby unresponsive and immediately administered medical care, including giving the baby Narcan. The press release says that the baby is hospitalized in stable condition.

The third fentanyl overdose also happened on Wednesday, April 24 when police say they received a call about a 13-month-old toddler who wasn’t breathing. When firefighters arrived, they began life-saving measures, and the baby was taken to the hospital where the child was pronounced dead. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting a positive identification of the child, as well as determining the official cause and manner of death.

The Everett Police Department is investigating all three cases but does not believe they are connected.

Across America, authorities are investigating a skyrocketing number of young children dying from fentanyl. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that fentanyl was involved in 94% of the deadly pediatric opioid poisonings recorded in 2021, compared to 5% in 1999. More than 5,000 children have died from overdoses involving fentanyl over the past two decades.

Everett Police say that if you think someone has overdosed, you should call 911, administer naloxone and start rescue breathing.