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

accidents, child abuse, crime, in the news


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nonmember avatar Andrea

Let' clear something's up here. First of all the little girl was 2 MONTHS old. Second, the mother did NOT call the police. The father did, immediately after feeding her the bottle because she began crying and vomiting after the feeding. This happened in my home town and is a horrible thing for any first time parent to go through. My son is 6 months old and I have been thrown some cray cray suggestions. This was a terrible judgement call on the father's part and there should be some punishment.

doodledo doodledo

Wtf is wrong with that guy? Bleach? Really?

nonmember avatar Cass

Stupid, yes. Criminal... Doesn't found like it. Make him take a parenting class and let him move on.

dekumama dekumama

I don't know, maybe he thought since there is chlorine in tap water it would be okay? I've heard of adding small amounts of bleach to sanitize water in disaster situations, and then there is pool water. I can kind of see where he might think a small amount would be harmless, a capful to a bottle is a lot though. If he called 911 himself, then he probably is just stupid and not abusive. Poor baby, thank goodness she's alright.

nicol... nicolemead91

wow this is crazy! i really dont think the father was trying to be abusive or criminal. just a really really really stupid mistake. hes lucky that his daughter is okay! you know he wont be doing that again. let him learn from  his mistake and always ask next time just to make sure ur not harming ur baby..

Jessica Johnson

I'm sorry but ANY logical person can see that it says on the bottle do not ingest. Really?? Honestly idk if I believe his story. I just can't believe anyone would be that stupid!


Laura Ries

Thank you, Andrea, for clearing all that up! Yes, he should be punished, but I don't think he should be charged with aggravated child abuse. Stupidity yes. Some kind of fine, but I don't think he was purposely harming his child. Thanks also for clearing up the age. I was wondering why they would still be giving their 2 year old formula.

For the person posting this article - get your story straight before putting it out there on a public forum....

Codi Yawitz

Andrea, maybe you need to learn how to read again.  She is 2 years old, not 2 months.  The article says that mom called 911 and the hospital called the police.  I truly doubt you are from the same town, and if so, you all need to stop spawning and passing your stupidity down to future generations!  The father is 20 and has a 2 year old.  HELLO... he probably knocked up his high school girl friend, doesn't have a college degree, and they probably didn't bother taking parenting classes because they couldn't afford it.  I completely agree with this writer.  He needs to be held responsible.  That is child endangerment! 

nonmember avatar Brandi

After reading the article from the actual newspaper, the baby is 2 months old (not two years) and the rest is accurate..the mom called 911 and the hospital called the police...either way it was stupid, but I think a parenting class is sufficient..doesn't sound like he meant to hurt the baby

nonmember avatar get the facts

WESH Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:54 AM

OCALA, Fla. - A 2-month-old baby is recovering after authorities said her father added bleach to her baby formula, according to video from WESH.

Sgt. Michael Summer of the Ocala Police Department said Carron Washington, 20, fed Caelynn Washington bleach because he heard it could help with the baby's congestion.

According to a police report, the child's mother went into the child's room after she heard her crying, and the child spit up a clear liquid that smelled like bleach. She called 911, and the child was taken to the hospital.

A hospital employee called police.

"You smell the baby bottle and it smells like complete bleach," a caller told a 911 dispatcher. "And the parents aren't giving us a good story about how it got in there."

Police said Carron Washington broke down crying at the police station and admitted to putting bleach in the child's bottle, saying he heard from a friend in school that it works as a medical cure. He said he mixed less than a cap-full of bleach with less than two ounces of formula.

"This would probably be the dumbest decision I ever made in my life, and I regret it 110 percent," he said.

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