Medical examiners in La Plata County in southwest Colorado have ruled that Kimber Michelle Brown, a 5-year-old girl who died in February, had toxic levels of two over-the-counter medications in her system at the time of her death, the Associated Press reports.
A toxicology report on Brown found that the kindergartner had two-and-half times the maximum recommended dose of dextromethorphan -- the active ingredient in Robitussin, Vicks and many other over-the-counter cold medications -- in addition to high levels of the anti-allergy medicine Cetirizine.
"In my opinion, the combination of these drugs -- which were the ingredients of the over-the-counter medications with which Kimber was being treated -- caused her death," La Plata County Coroner Dr. Carol Huser wrote in an autopsy reported obtained by the Durango Herald.
Brown was staying with her grandmother, 59-year-old Linda Sheets, in early February when she began exhibiting flu-like symptoms, a sheriff’s department spokesman told the Herald.
Huser told the paper that on the evening before her death on Sunday, Feb. 12, the girl had been complaining of leg pain, cramps and muscle spasms that would indicate that she had toxic levels of medication in her system.
Investigators are unsure whether Sheets accidentally gave her granddaughter too much medicine or if the girl ingested the substances after finding them on the counter, where they were in reach. An investigation is ongoing.
According KWGN-TV, the death is currently being treated as an accident.