Woman pleads guilty to poisoning children with eye drops

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A former Adams County woman has admitted to poisoning her two young children with Visine eye drops.

Samantha Elizabeth Unger, 23, pleaded guilty Tuesday to counts of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children, according to court documents.

She will be sentenced at a later date.

Authorities said Unger admitted she put Visine in her 3-year-old son’s water and juice while she lived in Orrtanna, and she told police her 1-year-old son twice became ill after he accidentally consumed the poisoned drinks she made for his brother.

According to the criminal complaint, the 3-year-old was hospitalized with life threatening symptoms several times and was finally flown to Penn State Hershey Medical Center in March,

After several tests with different medical experts, it was determined the boy’s urine was positive for tetrahydrozoline, the chemical commonly used in eye drops and nasal sprays.

Unger told investigators she did not keep track of how much Visine she used, but admitted she used more than one bottle, police said in the complaint.

Tetrahydrozoline poisoning can cause seizures, nausea and vomiting, changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, blurred vision, difficulty breathing and coma, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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