State issues public health warning against giving infants Benadryl, other antihistamines

HARTFORD — The state has issued a warning to parents that they should never use antihistamines in order to put infants to sleep.

This warning comes after a Brooklyn woman prepared sippy cups for her children laced with allergy medicine in an effort to get her children to fall asleep faster. Her infant daughter died due to “acute diphenhydramine intoxication,” the active drug in the medicine, according to FOX 25 Boston. The mother was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

The Child Fatality Review Panel issued the warning. The state agency investigates deaths of children that were in state care and works to advocate for children at risk.

The panel discovered there were at least four infant and child deaths in Connecticut in recent months from Benadryl and other antihistamines.

In one of those cases, a woman who ran an unlicensed daycare center at her home and is charged in connection with an infant’s death has been granted more time for her case.

The Connecticut Post reports a judge gave a continuance for Carol Cardillo’s case to June 20.

Police say a 4-month-old died at Cardillo’s home after receiving a fatal dose of Benadryl. Antihistamine drugs like Benadryl are not recommended for children under 2.

Cardillo has pleaded not guilty on charges that include second-degree manslaughter.

Her lawyer says he is still meeting with independent medical experts for the case.

Cardillo and her lawyer declined to give comment after the court hearing Tuesday. The boy’s family, who also sat in the courtroom, declined to comment.

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