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4-year-old remains hospitalized after drinking alcohol; investigators tight-lipped

By Peter Samore | Posted - Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:22pm

MARRIOTT-SLATERVILLE, Weber County — A 4-year-old girl with special needs remained hospitalized Friday after ingesting too much alcohol. But how she got the alcohol — or who gave it to her — remains a mystery.

Weber County sheriff's deputies responded to an apartment complex at 1045 S. 1200 West in Marriott-Slaterville Thursday on a report of an un-responsive child. Upon arrival, they found a special needs child in need of emergency medical treatment.

Paramedics transported the 4-year-old girl to McKay-Dee Hospital, where it was determined she had a high level of alcohol in her system, a press release from the Weber County Sheriff's Office stated. She was then transported to Primary Children's Medical Center for further care.

Law enforcement officials said Friday an investigation into the incident is ongoing. But they declined to share any further details on the case, including the girl's name, how she got the alcohol, or how much she ingested.

Dr. Robert Hoki at Layton's Wee Care Pediatrics said any amount of alcohol would have rendered this girl — or anyone her size &38212; unconscious.

"A lot of it depends on how quickly they consume it; and the size of the child—how much body mass or how big their body composition — would affect a lot of how much alcohol it would take," Hoki said.

He said children can get alcohol from wine or beer bottles, but they might also get their hands on mouthwash and over-the-counter medicine. The doctor said there are certain symptoms a parent should watch for.

"Just if they're not acting right, if their kids are somnolent or difficult to arouse," Hoki said. "Sometimes kids will have seizures, sometimes they'll be abnormally — either too fast or too slow."

But the kids may not vomit, he said, which is why rapid treatment is vital.

"Don't sit at home and say, ‘Well, it didn't look like they took very much. Let's wait and see how they do.' It's important to get the child in, ‘cause they can get sick very quickly," Hoki said.

Contributing: Jordan Ormond

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