Wine in the Sippy Cup!

Editor’s Note: Someone from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw a young child being served alcohol at Thanksgiving dinner. Dr. Fuhrman responds.

  • Member

"My nephew is 22 months old. And at dinner his uncle poured red wine into his cup for him to drink. It was a decent-sized serving. The child's mother is very lazy about nutrition and didn't care at all if her son drank wine. He drank it all and became very flushed in the cheeks and was obviously feeling the effects, based on his behavior. They thought this was funny and harmless.

I know this is a no-brainer, but they think that such small amounts are no big deal. I want to be able to say convincingly that yes, a little bit can hurt! I didn't see anything about this in your book, which I assume is because it's so painfully obvious and shouldn’t needed to be covered."

  • Dr. Fuhrman

"It is a crime to serve alcohol to a young child and is considered child abuse. This is not funny because many children each year are admitted to the hospital in a coma from one drink. Their small bodies and underdeveloped livers do not metabolize alcohol well and respiratory depression, hypoglycemia, unconsciousness and death can ensue. One in five admissions for childhood alcohol consumption report significant brain damage that could have permanent negative effects.

Parents need to be vigilant at parties. They need to keep an eye on their young children so they don't inadvertently pick up an alcoholic drink, thinking it is soda, which is bad enough. Adults who give alcohol, marijuana and other drugs to children should be reported. When this occurs the child is usually removed from the home and placed in protective custody.

Print this out and give it to the people who witnessed this. You are not helping anyone by letting this happen in front of you and the whole lot of you could have spent the night in jail if anyone anonymously called the police. I would have knocked the cup out of the toddler's hand. Maybe you should invite me over at your family's next get together."

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
pdw - December 8, 2008 2:44 PM

Remember that giving alcohol to children is not illegal everywhere in the world. Presumably your reader was in USA, but if she was in another part of the world, even other countries in the Americas, it was not necessarily illegal.

Immoral, yes. Stupid, yes. Can cause brain damage or death, yes.

But not necessarily against the law.

Monty - December 9, 2008 11:22 AM

Ethyl alcohol is lethal to the cells of the brain and central nervous system, and is especially dangerous to the developing system of the young child. If the child grows up to be mentally retarded or physically handicapped, this may be a large part of the reason.

J Howley - December 30, 2008 8:08 PM

My 2 y/old was given alcohol drink on Christmas day by an idiotic in-law. I immediately pulled my boy away to prevent him drinking, and expressed my anger. I spoke with a policewoman and she didn't seem to think any laws were broken, although I must admit I didn't find her overly confident in her opinion. We are based in the Irish Republic and I was wondering if anyone knows is the giving of alcohol to a toddler illegal in this jurisdiction?

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