Dad Adds Bleach to Baby’s Formula ... to Clear Congestion?

Say What!? 46

BleachOf all of the household products, doesn’t bleach just smell like the least likely to be consumed? Like, next to ammonia, which darn near makes nose hairs fall from your nostrils like pine needles after the slightest inhale, it’s the most unappealing of all liquid cleaners. That acrid odor tips most of us off that it’s not consumable. Not for Carron Washington, though. He thought it a good idea to add bleach to his two-year-old daughter’s formula. To break up her congestion. Because a slathering of Vicks wasn’t quite potent enough, I guess.

According to him, he heard from a friend in school that it would help the little girl breathe better. When little Caelynn vomited a clear liquid that smelled like bleach, her mother called 911 and hospital employees naturally called police, claiming that not only was the baby throwing up what appeared to be bleach, her bottle smelled like it had been doused with it, too.

Washington admitted to using the laundry staple as a medical cure, tearfully explaining that he’d mixed less than a cap of it with her formula. Is it even possible to be that foolish? Or naïve?

When you’re a new parent, you get new advice from every direction, solicited and unsolicited, wanted and unwanted. Your mama, your neighbor, old ladies on the train, the fishmonger at the farmers' market—everyone has a word of wisdom to impart to you. If you’ve ever carried a baby out in public, you’ve almost inevitably been on the receiving end of somebody’s hand-me-down wisdom.

But if someone suggests you lace your toddler’s food with a hazardous liquid, that’s worth a double, triple, and quadruple check with more reliable sources before you haul off and do it. Especially since I’m sure he’s never tossed back a glass of Clorox to clear up his own chest cold or bout with bronchitis. So why give it to the kid?

Washington is now up against aggravated child abuse charges, though he and his family insist that the 20-year-old is an excellent father who made a stone cold stupid mistake. The baby is fine, thank goodness, and is scheduled to be released from the hospital with a clean bill of health. This may be another example that new moms and dads, especially the ones who are young or undereducated, need additional support. Or it just may be another horrifying instance of a child being grossly mistreated by parents who have no business being parents.

So ... do you believe his story?


Image via fredsharples/Flickr

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