Baby with toy bunny, Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/floridamemory/6520748155/, Author Florida Memory (PD)
WARNING: Graphic Images
- Joseph Milano and Lauren Semanyk, a Maryland couple, have been charged with third degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of their 10 month old daughter . Other charges pending include possession of drug paraphernalia. The couple waited over 6 hours to report that the baby had ingested fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50-100 times more powerful than morphine. They described Angelina to emergency personnel as having drowned during a bath.
- A 16 month old Pennsylvania toddler is in guarded condition after having chewed on a discarded baggie that held heroin . Narcan saved both the baby’s life and his mother’s, both found unconscious. A search at the home turned up a dozen empty heroin bags. The mother is expected to be charged.
- Antonio Floyd and Shantanice Barksdale, a Michigan couple, have been charged with second degree murder and manslaughter in the death of their 18 month old daughter . The toddler, Ava, died after ingesting some 15 times the amount of fentanyl commonly seen in overdose deaths. Drug residue, baggies, scales, herb grinders, and guns were found in the couple’s home. They have two other children.
We mull over baby names. We paint our nurseries pink and blue; decorate them with bunnies or friendly cartoon characters. We buy sound machines, cashmere receiving blankets, teddy bears 3’ tall, and designer baby clothes.
Amid all the excitement, we overlook only one thing in preparing for the birth of a child. And that is the very thing a child needs most: loving and responsible parents, capable of putting their child’s needs first.
Not all parents, of course, welcome the birth of a child. And not all have equal resources. But children come into this world, welcome or not. At that point, their needs must be paramount. They are precious and vulnerable.
This nation is experiencing an opioid crisis, and the youngest members of our society are on the front lines. Sadly, bunnies are no defense.
 Daily Times, “Upper Darby mom, dad charged in fentanyl death of 10-month old” by Kevin Tustin, 12/7/18, https://www.delcotimes.com/news/upper-darby-mom-dad-charged-in-fentanyl-death-of-/article_591d98b2-f973-11e8-b130-5b5d758e1a14.html.
 Fox 8 News/Cleveland, “Toddler chewed heroin baggie while mother overdosed, police say” by Tribune Media Wire, 2/6/19, https://fox8.com/2019/02/06/toddler-chewed-heroin-baggie-while-mother-overdosed-police-say/.
 Washington Post, “An overdose victim had more fentanyl in her than officials had ever seen. She was 18 months old” by Kristine Phillips, 1/15/19, https://www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2019/01/15/an-overdose-victim-had-more-fentanyl-her-than-officials-had-ever-seen-she-was-months-old/?utm_term=.453a42ae70da.
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