Sadly, far too often we hear about child abuse and the abhorrent parenting skills of folks who are clearly not fit to bear the responsibility of parenthood.
However, it’s hardly kept us from being genuinely shocked by stories like this one: A Phoenix mother has been accused of administering adult-only sleep medication to her two toddlers and giving her 10-month-old baby cigarette butts to teethe on. Per AZ Family:
According to police, Shelby Henrickson’s 10-month-old was rushed to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and into intensive care on Nov. 4 after she gave him ZzzQuil.
The main ingredient in ZzzQuil is diphenhydramine. The product packaging clearly states that ZzzQuil is just a sleep aid and should not be given to children younger than 12.
According to court paperwork, Henrickson told officers that she not only gave ZzzQuil to her 10-month-old, but to her 2- and 3-year-old children, as well. In an interview with the Office of Child Welfare Investigation, she gave “inconsistent accounts of how much each child was given.”
Diphenhydramine was not the only substance doctors found in the 10-month-old’s system. Toxicology results revealed he also was suffering from nicotine poisoning.
While it is not clear how the baby boy ingested the nicotine, a doctor who examined him said it looked like he was teething and had been chewing on cigarette butts.
Thankfully, after 48 hours in the hospital, the baby has been released and is in the care of the Department of Child Safety, along with the two toddlers. Meanwhile, Henrickson is facing charges of one count of child abuse and two counts of endangerment.