Four Loko, the formerly caffeinated alcoholic beverage, has garnered plenty of bad press. From partying teenagers to the senior citizen set, it has gotten a bad buzz for getting people way too buzzed. But even in its new caffeine-free version, it has once again proven dangerous -- for a toddler.
In Texas, an 18-month-old girl was found wasted with a blood alcohol level of 0.09. Her 32-year-old mother, Lashawnda Evette Allen, who was found drunk too, is currently in jail. Authorities were notified when a roommate came home and found Allen's two children alone. She said the toddler was acting strangely. Another neighbor reported seeing the girl at one point outside falling down and stumbling. The mom was "some distance" away from the apartment, talking to a neighbor or something.
Shocking and horrifying, yes, but the drunk toddler isn't even the worst part of this story ...
The toddler's 5-month-old baby sister was found nearly dead. According to the Houston Chronicle, court papers said she was:
... hanging off of her bed with sheets tangled around her waist while the baby's feet were straight up and her head was down. The infant appeared to be turning blue.
So in one sense we should perhaps be thankful the toddler got drunk, because otherwise no one might have found that poor baby. What a tragic thing to even imagine being thankful for.
It doesn't sound like the mother purposefully gave her daughter the Four Loko. Instead she says she was drinking it herself, fell asleep, and woke to find her daughter with an empty can of it. Accidents happen, and children drink things they're not supposed to drink even under the most watchful eyes. In many cases I would feel some sympathy for the parent because we all miss things we shouldn't. But in this case, it seems like much more than just an accident and a serious case of neglect. Even after she realized what happened, she didn't call an ambulance or even poison control. She says she didn't want to get in trouble and lose her children, but she almost did ... forever.
Obviously, this mom has some major issues to address -- like getting drunk in the middle of the day and neglecting her children. The charges against her are for child endangerment, but she's lucky that manslaughter or something else wasn't added as well. So many even more horrific things could have happened.
What would you do if you found your child had ingested alcohol?
Image via Aoife city womanchile/Flickr