The researchers cautioned that many of these children likely overdosed after stumbling upon their parents' prescription medications.
Using data from the Pediatric Health Information System Database, the researchers identified 3,647 patients in 31 children's hospitals across the country who were admitted with opioid-related diagnoses.
This study comes at a time when opioid use among adults in the US has reached epidemic proportions. More than 42,000 people died in the US from opioid overdose in 2016, more than any year on record.
But as treatment for opioid addiction increases across the country, more and more children are likely becoming "secondary victims" of the epidemic.