TAMPA, Fla. – 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. Doctors diagnosed him with water intoxication and malnourisnment. 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 families. 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.