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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Don't Water Down Baby Formulas

Here's a sad and frightening article, Too much water not good for infants by Dan Kelly of the Reading Eagle.

A Florida woman brought her infant son, unconscious and convulsing, into the St. Petersburg Hospital emergency room.

The diagnosis: Water intoxication.

The mother told doctors she had been adding water to her infant's formula to conserve the powder.

"Basically, babies do not need water," said Dr. Mary Ann Mancano, chairwoman of St. Joseph Medical Center's pediatrics department. "The side effects of too much water go all the way to seizures, coma and death."

The Johns Hopkins Hospital issued a warning that, if a baby is given too much water over time, the child will become malnourished and underweight. Symptoms may include irritability or sluggishness; their face may swell and their eyes may flutter hours before the child goes into convulsions.

This is a dismal side effect of the current recession. Desperate parents try to make every food stretch and can unwittingly do their children harm.

The article makes the good point that breastfeeding is cheaper than formula and always healthier than watered-down formula could ever be.

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