Julie R. Gaither, Veronika Shabanova, and John M. Leventhal have an article at JAMA Network Open titled "National Trends in Pediatric Deaths From Prescription and Illicit Opioids, 1999-2016."
Question How have US mortality rates for pediatric opioid poisonings changed over the past 2 decades?
Findings In this cross-sectional study, 8986 children and adolescents died between 1999 and 2016 from prescription and illicit opioid poisonings. During this time, the mortality rate increased 268.2%.
Meaning Pediatric-specific and family-centered interventions are needed to address pediatric opioid poisonings, a growing public health problem in the United States.
Conclusions and Relevance Over 18 years, nearly 9000 children and adolescents died from opioid poisonings, and the mortality rate increased nearly 3-fold. These findings suggest that the opioid epidemic is likely to remain a growing public health problem in the young unless legislators, public health officials, clinicians, and parents take a wider view of the opioid crisis and implement protective measures that are pediatric specific and family centered.