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June 1992

Water Intoxication

Author Affiliations

The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health 615 N Wolfe St Baltimore, MD 21205

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(6):658-659. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160180016003

Sir.—In their interesting report on water intoxication in St Louis, Mo, Keating et al1 wondered about the reason for the striking increase in its occurrence, suggested a national epidemiologic study, and proposed an increase in the amounts of free formula provided to infants living in poverty.

Of the mothers of the 31 infants described, only one was married, three were addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol, and 27 received their formula (plus "nutritional" advice that included giving water to the unsatisfied breast- or bottle-fed infant) from the Women, Infants, and Children program. If many mothers "presume that WIC provides everything the infant needs," it is because the advocates and operators of the program have so implied.

I wonder if any of these infants ever had the benefit of a pediatrician or family practitioner's counsel. It is a sad reflection on the state of our society that children are

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