Junkfood Science: A tragic reminder that water is not healthy for babies

December 02, 2008

A tragic reminder that water is not healthy for babies

Doctors were able to save little baby Ladamien with about an hour to spare, but this story is a heart-stopping reminder that water is not a healthful drink for babies. When they are hungry, they need fats and calories.

With growing numbers of young families struggling during these economic hard times — and others believing the childhood obesity hysteria telling them baby fat is bad and must be avoided — please remember that diluting formula with water, trying to fill babies up on less and make formula stretch, can cause malnutrition, brain damage and death in infants and toddlers. [Covered here.] From Fox News in Tampa:

Tough times nearly cost baby his life

A Bay Area 5-month-old is a lucky guy after being brought to the hospital last week with a condition called water intoxication. Ladamien Barton's mom says she wasn't getting enough cans of baby formula through the WIC program, so she was stretching it out…

She didn't realize that was a no-no until Ladamien developed seizures and couldn't breathe. "He was off in a daze, he wasn't following my hand, he started screaming," Moss recalled. "He curled up in a ball. I went to lift him up but he stopped breathing. As soon as he stopped breathing, I put him on his back and started doing CPR."

"Another hour he would have been dead," offered UCH pediatrician Dr. James Orlowski. "It definitely reflects the economic times, when times get tighter, people dilute the formula…They don't realize the danger to the baby of having excessively diluted formula." Ladamien weighs eight pounds right now; his doctors say he should weigh 12…

Doctors warn not to give babies water their first 10 months. It could dilute sodium levels.

When making food donations to your local food bank, remember baby formula and baby foods, as they’re often shortest in supply.

For all young parents having a rough time, may a Secret Santa leave you cases of formula so you don’t face the life threatening choices these young Florida parents faced.

Addendum: A reader kindly downloaded the entire news broadcast onto YouTube for JFS readers here. It offers more details on what this little baby went through and the doctor's recommendations. Thank you, David!

Bookmark and Share