A 1-month-old boy in China reportedly died when his grandfather gave him alcohol at a family party after the elder was dared to do so.
Friends and family members of the child and his parents were gathered at their family home in Beijing on July 12 for the infant's full month celebration, traditionally held to bless and celebrate a newborn, when the tragedy took place, Sin Chew Daily reports.
The unnamed infant's paternal grandfather, who was holding the child at the party, proposed a toast when another relative allegedly joked that the grandfather could not take a sip if the baby did not drink first, according to the outlet.
The elder relative reportedly caved to the taunting and gave the infant a sip of an alcoholic beverage. Eventually, the baby boy's mother discovered what had happened and took the child back but he had already begun struggling to breathe.
The 1-month-old was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he reportedly died.
Even a small amount of alcohol can cause alcohol poisoning in children, leading to serious illness and even death, according to the National Capital Poison Center.
Children's bodies absorb alcohol more quickly than those of adults, which can lead to a more rapid onset of dangerous symptoms associated with drinking.
Alcohol depresses the body's central nervous system and causes a drop in blood glucose (sugar). When the brain is deprived of glucose, it can lead to seizures and comas. When the central nervous system is affected, breathing, heart rate and blood pressure may slow down to a dangerous or even fatal level.
If a child swallows alcohol, a parent or guardian should immediately call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222 with the name of the alcoholic product, the amount that was consumed, how long ago the incident took place and the child's weight and age.
If the child has collapsed, has suffered a seizure, is having trouble breathing or can't be awakened, it is recommended you call 911 immediately.