Baby Formula Danger: Tampa Baby Almost Dies From Watered-Down Formula

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A Tampa hospital is cautioning cash-strapped parents against watering down baby formula, after a 5-month-old almost died from the money-saving strategy.

La'Damian Barton was hospitalized last week after he had a seizure and stopped breathing. He's expected to be released Tuesday.

His mother, 23-year-old Jeri Moss, says she had no idea adding the extra water was dangerous.

She was trying to stretch the allotment of baby formula cans she receives each month from the federal WIC program for low-income

Doctors diagnosed him with water intoxication and malnourisnment. The technical college student says she couldn't afford to buy more.

Cindy Morris, an official with the Hillsborough County Health Department, says WIC isn't intended to cover all a child's nutritional needs.


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  • by nyscof Location: ny on Dec 5, 2008 at 11:32 AM
    The water is even more damaging if it contains fluoride. All infant formula, concentrated or not, must not be mixed with fluoridated water, according to the American Dental Association, the Centers for Disease Control and the Academy of General Dentistry. This puts babies at high risk of developing dental fluorosis - yellow discolored teeth which is the body's outward warning that too much fluoride was ingested. Unseen is the damage fluoride ingestion causes to bones, thyroid and kidney function. Also, over 20 studies link even low level fluoride ingestion to lowered IQ http://www.FluorideAction.net/health Since fluoride is neither a nutrient nor required for healthy teeth, it must be avoided. Instead these poor children are being way overloaded. Fluoride should be removed from all water supplies immediately, If parents don't know that they shouldn't super-dilute infant formula, they certainly are unaware of the danger to their babies that fluoridated tap water delivers.
  • by Melissa Location: Ohio on Dec 5, 2008 at 10:26 AM
    I am a mother of a 15 week old little girl and I work full-time and I am also a senior in college, three classes away from my bachelors in Criminal Justice. My husband works full-time as well. I am also breastfeeding her with no supplements. I started receiving WIC while I was pregnant, and they supplied me with a breast pump which has been my best friend. Not all women who receive WIC are unemployed or on welfare. I find that a bit insulting since WIC is the only form of help that I qualify for. Also, WIC provides women with substantial amounts of formula, most of the women don't use as much as they are given each month. Also, if a woman is out of formula, WIC will give her cans of it until she is able to get more with her coupons. I don't personally use formula, but it should be common sense that watering it down would cause malnutrition.
  • by Jennifer Location: Tampa on Dec 4, 2008 at 02:33 PM
    If you read the AP story that goes with this, you'll see that she has a 18 month old daughter, this baby, she is an unemployed student and the father is out of work. She needs to be investigated for her actions. She claims to have watered down the formula for her first child as well. If you cannot support the children that you choose to have, then maybe you shouldn't have them. I have 2 daughters and it is mine and my husband's responsibility to supply them with their needs, be it food, shelter, clothing or medical care. It is not anyone elses job to do that. If you are out there working and trying and need a little extra help, then we as a community should be there for you and your family. If you think that you are entitled to sit at home and collect WIC and food stamps, then something needs to change. Get up, find a job, and make your life productive.
  • by Laura Location: Illinois on Dec 4, 2008 at 11:02 AM
    Just because she is on WIC doesn't mean she doesn't have a job!!! She probably just doesn't make enough money and needs a little help. For the people who say she should be breastfeeding...that is nice, but some people try and for some reason or another are unable to. P.S. No, I'm not a mother on welfare or needs help- I can financially take care of a child on my income.
  • by megan Location: IL on Dec 4, 2008 at 10:48 AM
    You people are terrible...I am a first time mother, I have a full time job, and so does my sons father. I get WIC just to help me out!! Does that mean I am lazy??
  • by Staci Location: California on Dec 3, 2008 at 10:34 PM
    Breast feeding is the best thing to do, there is always a supply and its free. This is what mothers in other countries do. This is what animals do to feed their young.
  • by George Location: Lynn Haven on Dec 3, 2008 at 01:23 PM
    You know what I say? Get off of welfare! Our tax dollars are being wasted on these people because they're too lazy to work. I know saving money is commonplace now, but you should still find at least one job to work at.
  • by Patti Location: Panama City on Dec 3, 2008 at 09:09 AM
    I do have a heart for those poor children. I still stand on what I said earlier, she made poor choice by denying her children the nutrients they need when there are a abundant of FREE resources. Maybe bringing CPS was a little harsh. What stopped her or her boyfriend to walk in a minimum wage job to just put food in her kids belly or even asking neighbors for help. This isn't about big corps flying their big planes this is about poor parenting. This also makes me realize there needs to be more breastfeeding resources to mothers rich or poor. It's free to breast feed your child from your own breast.
  • by A Young Mom Location: New York, NY on Dec 3, 2008 at 08:19 AM
    Oh my God, please have a heart. The first thing to be thinking about shouldnt be how can we have CPS step in and punish this poor family further. I feel so sorry for this mother and the desperation that caused her to do this. Its getting so hard between housing, food and even getting to work. Meanwhile, we're bailing out Wall Street and multi millionaires flying in on private jets to beg for handouts.
  • by Deana Location: Rochester MN on Dec 3, 2008 at 05:24 AM
    She is a young mom who made a first mom mistake due to the stress of the economy. She took him to the hospital, ignoring healthcare costs, so I don't think she should be looked at by the CPS. It could have happened to anyone. Have a little heart.
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