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Parents charged with manslaughter for baby's fatal overdose

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The police of Winnipeg made an announcement about the charges Monday. (Archive photo)

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The parents of a 1-year-old girl who died of a fentanyl overdose in Winnipeg in March 2023 have been charged with 'manslaughter.

Police say the parents were uncooperative with emergency services, knowing the child had been exposed to the powerful opioid.

Winnipeg Police Service spokesperson Claude Chancy says that on March 23, 2023, a man called 911 because his child had lost consciousness.

Members of the Fire and Paramedic Service attempted to resuscitate the child, before taking him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, he says.

The father, a man of 38 years old, was charged with possession of a controlled substance because he had a small quantity of fentanyl in his possession.

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The child's 37-year-old mother and the man were both arrested for criminal negligence causing death and later released.

Through their investigation, investigators determined that both parents were not being truthful about the details of the incident, says Claude Chancy.

According to him, the man and woman knew that their daughter had been exposed to fentanyl several hours before calling for help.

They knew the child was in distress at that time, they could have called 911 well before they did, continues Mr. Chancy.

They made an attempt to provide help to the child before they called 911, it said.

Parents had prior contact with police and were using drugs when child was exposed . They were the only three people in the residence that day.

The medical examiner determined that the child died of fentanyl intoxication.

After consultation with the office According to the prosecutor, the parents were accused of a more serious charge, that of involuntary manslaughter. They were arrested on Friday and remain in custody.

We must not see children die at the hands of irresponsibility, affirms Claude Chancy. Whether a person has an addiction or a substance abuse problem, this is inexcusable.

In a statement sent Monday, Manitoba child and youth advocate Sherry Gott calls the news devastating.

I have repeatedly called on the government to develop a comprehensive mental health and addictions strategy, and the circumstances surrounding [the girl's] death reaffirm the need for a urgent action, she wrote.

We hope that those responsible for his death receive the support they need to make positive and lasting changes so that this never happens again.

For addiction doctor Ginette Poulin, the tragedy reminds us of the importance of placing any potentially dangerous substance out of the reach of children.

With young people […] we know that it takes even smaller quantities to have significant consequences such as an overdose and [mortality], she explains.

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Addiction specialist Ginette Poulin advises never leaving children unsupervised and keeping any potentially dangerous products locked away. (Archive photo)

This should be taken as a lesson for all products that can be dangerous, even chemicals at home, cleaning products, she warns.

But also medications, you need protect them really well.

She advises locking up any dangerous products and keeping naloxone kits at home and to have discussions with your children. Young people aged three, four years old, they can understand not to touch [certain] things.

With information from Simon Deschamps

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116