A 6-year-old is in the hospital and her mother is facing charges after the child got into her mom's purse and took her prescription medications, according to police.
Clarksville police said Carla Maynard was mowing the lawn and left her child in her car.
When she came back to check on the little girl, she was passed out, not from the heat, but from ingesting the Clonazapam pills she had found inside her mom's purse, according to police.
Crews rushed her to Vanderbilt Hospital, where she was still recovering as of Monday night.
"Anything over the counter would really be dangerous to a child because it's not a child's dose. It's an adult dose and you have no idea how much they might ingest, and that's when it really becomes a problem," said Sarah Haverstick, a child safety program manager with Vanderbilt Hospital.
Experts said it happens all the time and while pills are common because "they look like candy," they aren't the only problem.
"A new thing that's come out recently are those gel packs that you keep in the dish washer. Those have had some really serious repercussions for kids ingesting them," said Haverstick.
Haverstick said kids are curious and tend to put things in their mouths, not to mention many household items can be deceiving.
"This is actually parmesan cheese that you would put on your spaghetti, and this is something you would use to clean your sink with, so again, everyday items are just as dangerous for kids as any type of medication would be," she said.
Haverstick suggested taking inventory of your home, car and purse. Keep anything dangerous out of reach and locked away, and when it comes to pills, she said, use childproof caps correctly.
"Make sure every time you close it, it closes all the way so that a child cant just twist the cap off and open it," said Haverstick.
Maynard was charged, accused of child abuse and neglect. She did not want to comment.
If your children swallow something they shouldn't and they're still responsive, call the Tennessee Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
A Vanderbilt doctor or nurse will answer and they may save you an unnecessary and expensive trip to the emergency room.
Child specialists recommend saving it into your cell phone, posting it on the refrigerator door and making sure any babysitter or caregiver has it as well.
Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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