A server at Frankie and Benny’s, Burtonwood, Warrington, inadvertently served a four-year old girl vodka and peace schnapps in place of the softtail ordered by her parents, which led to her hospitalization and a hangover. Initially, the parents thought nothing was amiss, not even when Evelyn said “yuck” after looking at the drink. They thought the child was behaving in her regular finicky manner. However, when she didn’t sufficiently respond and was unsteady on her feet, they got worried. Fortunately, the restaurant was quick to notify the mistake and the mother immediately called 111 before alcohol could cause further damage to the child’s physical and psychological health.
Though the child acted silly and had a hangover, overall, her health did not suffer any damage. But it would have been a different story had she gulped in more. Alcohol is one of the most potent poisons for children. A toddler with alcohol in his or her system could undergo central nervous system (CNS) depression and suffer from a hypoglycemia episode or dangerous low blood sugar levels. In case timely action is not taken, the child could sink into a coma and even die.
A Frankie and Benny’s spokesman called the incident a “genuine human error” and apologized for the distress caused. Evelyn’s parents have decided not to take any legal action against the popular chain. However, they have called for increased public awareness in the aftermath of the episode and asked the restaurant to be more careful about its service standards in future.
Problem of underage drinking
It is essential to keep alcohol away from the reach of young children. In case there is a toddler at home, one needs to be extra careful about accidental consumption of every day household items that contain some amount of alcohol, such as a mouthwash. It is also a good practice to avoid drinking when the child is around, as children have the habit of mimicking adult behavior. Wine and whiskey glasses should be washed thoroughly after use to deter young children from having a taste.
Underage drinking is a chronic problem in America today, and colleges and schools have become the breeding grounds for substance abuse. In colleges, drinking and getting drugged have become the rite of passage, and even those with the best intentions to avoid this ritual, find it hard once they are a part of a sorority or frat. While public places, such as restaurants and bars, have restrictions in place that require patrons to provide identification as proof that they are eligible to drink, teens resort to various unethical means for getting in. If nothing works out, they purloin a bottle from home or persuade an elder sibling or peer from school to get them their first bottle clandestinely.
Parents too are guilty of furthering this trend. In many instances, a youngster has his/her first sip of alcohol at home, with the acknowledgement of a parent or guardian. Moreover, if both the parents have drinking issues, the child is likely to inherit the same traits. Underage drinking is responsible for acts of aggression, larceny, automobile accidents, physical violence and at times, even homicide. It is wise to stay sober and adopt healthy practices.
Hooked Sober is a source of information on drugs, alcohol, eating disorders and mental disorders. Please send your questions, concerns or comments to [email protected] or speak to a representative at (866) 838-4087.