Inaction leads to avoidable child deaths


Prescription drugs are killing Floridia’s kids, thanks to irresponsible parenting and little help from the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Since 2008, more than 120 children have died in Florida after DCF was told their parents were abusing prescription drugs. And 82 percent of these kids were under 2 years old.

The children died in horrible and preventable ways; from ingesting pills that were left around to being accidentally suffocated by their drug-influenced parents laying on top of them.

News coverage of the deaths has led to a great deal of criticism for the DCF, which has been doing a poor job of monitoring and punishing neglectful parents. The agency’s advice to addicted parents is simple: Stop doing drugs and take a parenting class.

Elizabeth Rydborn, whose five-year-old daughter Ashton died of a toxic combination of pills, was investigated three times before Ashton’s death. Rydborn admitted to DCF that she had a “major problem” with meth, which she tested positive for as well as amphetamines and marijuana. DCF did nothing.

Hopefully the attention these deaths are finally receiving will force the DCF to improve, and save children’s lives.