Thursday, November 10, 2011


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

A four year old toddler is dead. The little girl was rushed to the hospital where they were unable to save her. The cause of death…….extreme alcohol poisoning! Shocking, yes, but even more shocking is the fact that the child’s own father fed her the very alcohol that killed her. The Georgia man and the toddler’s aunt were both arrested on charges of felony cruelty to a child and felony murder.

Reading this awful story made me think of when I was young. My dad let my sister and me have a sip of beer every now and then. I also remember my cousin sneaking around at his parent’s New Year’s Eve party stealing sips from drinks left sitting around. No one realized the dangers of giving small amounts of alcohol to children. I know my gums were thoroughly rubbed with whiskey when I was teething and one of my friends was given a tablespoon of whiskey and cola syrup when she had a bad cold. We were lucky not to have suffered ill effects!

Today there is no excuse for allowing children to have any alcohol, unprescribed drugs or remedies. The general public should be educated enough to recognize the dangers of these and other practices that used to be considered acceptable. We know to watch the diet of our children, to avoid too much sugar, artificial colors and additives. We know that exercise is important and children need to be in a totally smoke free environment.
And yet, there are still people who smoke around their kids, allow them to eat sugary cereals and pop tarts for breakfast. They allow them to sit in front of a computer, video game of TV for hours on end and don’t monitor that they get at least 8-10 hours sleep each night. These parents DO know better, so why do they do it?

I was a neurotic mom. I previewed every show, movie or game my children were exposed to. I “hid” veggies, like putting pureed beets in my meatloaf. (I know, sounds gross, but you can’t even taste it.) My husband and I took our kids to the park, the zoo, exploring in the woods, swimming, boating, fishing, and camping. We had them try soccer, basketball, karate and dance. We really tried to have healthy meals and keep them active. I admit, I was pretty bad with baking cookies and treats for them, but both grew into healthy, trim, active young adults. I’m grateful that they continued to make good choices, but my husband and I take some credit for setting the foundation!

I don’t understand parents who disregard all the advice of doctors, psychologists, and other experts. They allow their children to be rude, eat what they want, bully others, be disrespectful to teachers and other adults, and watch TV shows and movies that make most adults uncomfortable. Casual sex, violence, foul language – they see it all, and their little minds soak it all in. They eat fast food, sugar, soda, and anything that’s easy to get or make. I wonder how many families actually eat together these days!

So, ask yourself: “Am I providing the best diet, routine, and lifestyle for my children? Am I afraid to say “No” or have them think I’m not as cool as the other parents?”  I wasn’t a perfect parent, I don’t believe there is such a thing. I made plenty of mistakes and I know there are many wonderful parents reading this right now. I’m just asking; if you aren’t sheltering your child somewhat from the bad stuff, aren’t watching their diet or exercise habits, or just find that you’re so busy you’re taking shortcuts that could ultimately harm your child, STOP and THINK!  Their health and well being must come before everything else in life. Make the effort, take the time. You may be “the strictest mom and dad” in the neighborhood ( as I was told many times), but you’ll feel good knowing you have given your children the best possible start in life, and someday they will thank you for it!



1.     Alcohol poisoning in young children is far more dangerous in adults because of the impact is has on their blood sugar, experts say.
2.     Even a tiny amount of alcohol can cause a child's blood sugar to drop precipitously.
3.     Household products such as rubbing alcohol - which has a higher alcohol content than vodka - can even cause poisoning through the skin.
4.     A person with alcohol poisoning needs immediate attention - particularly if they are a child.
5.     But there is little that doctors can do to remove the alcohol from a person's system.
6.     The best they can do is pump the child's stomach and try to keep them stable until the alcohol has been filtered through their system.
7.     It takes most healthy adults at least one hour to metabolise alcohol in their liver.

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1 comment:

  1. Great post Marion!
    And.... might I add, OUCH, you hit a nerve!!!!