This week, in my webisode Safety Mom Minute, I featured a mom from the kiddy pageant circuit who’s been feeding her seven year-old daughter a concoction she calls “Go-Go Juice.” This little cocktail consists of 50% Mountain Dew and 50% Red Bull.
I kid you not.
She started this because her daughter wasn’t getting enough kick from the favored pageant pick-me-up of choice, Pixie Sticks, more commonly known as “Pageant Crack.”
Again, I kid you not.
The mother insisted she’s doing nothing different than any other mother in America is doing on a regular basis, she’s just doing it on the weekends to “give her an edge.”
Really? Last I checked I couldn’t find any other mother giving this to her child.
This mother is morbidly obese. Clearly her thoughts on health and nutrition leave a lot to be desired. Hasn’t her pediatrician told her of the health risks she’s causing her child? In 2010, the American Association of Poison Control Centers started tracking energy drink overdoses and side effects. In the first quarter of 2011, there were 311 cases of energy drink poisonings and more than a quarter involved children under six years of age! The list of dangers from energy drink poisonings includes seizures, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, chest pain and high blood pressure.
How could putting a child’s health in such severe jeopardy not be considered child abuse? Consider some other recent cases in which parents were arrested or listed in Child Abuse Registry:
- A woman in Delaware was charged and arrested for child endangerment and arrested when she left her 1 and 6 year-olds home alone while she went to the local Burger King to get food.
- An Idaho couple was arrested for child endangerment when their 2 year-old child was taken to the hospital for an overdose of a prescription drug.
- A couple from Orange County, CA were listed on the Child Abuse Central Index for a year for cutting their teen-age daughter’s hair as punishment for running away and lying about where she went. The court considered this emotional abuse.
Giving your child fast food and soda every now and then is one thing but supplying a 7 year-old with a steady stream of Mountain Dew and Red Bull for the purpose of performing better in a kiddy pageant should be a crime.