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January 16 2015

Contessa Brewer's Unsound Medical Advice

Julie Gunlock

Contessa Brewer is not a pediatrician but she plays one on Facebook.

See this post from the MSNBC anchor's page:

Now, I don’t know if Ms. Brewer has kids (it appears so since she mentions “her baby”) but if she does, it makes me wonder if she’s ever seen her kid get really sick…as in fever, stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting.

It’s no treat.

One of the most difficult things a parent faces when nursing a sick young child is convincing that child to take fluids. This is critically important but it’s tough to convince kids who are in the middle of throwing up. They get the idea pretty quickly that whatever goes down, might just come up again. All they want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep in between dry heaves.

It’s tough to watch and it can be a scary situation for parents. Dehydration is one of the side effects parents are told to watch out for. Kids are easily dehydrated when they’re sick because they are losing massive amounts of fluids and they’re stubborn about drinking.

So, what do parents do? Often they rely on things like Pedialyte, which according to WebMD “…is used to replace fluids and minerals (such as sodium, potassium) lost due to diarrhea and vomiting. It helps prevent or treat the loss of too much body water (dehydration). Having the right amount of fluids and minerals is important for the normal functioning of the body.”

Hey, look at that, Contessa, it’s used to help kids avoid death via dehydration!

Yes, it also contains a small amount of sugar and an even smaller amount of dyes (which do not cause hyperactivity in children). But that’s what makes this product attractive to kids. Getting them hydrated is the point here, Ms. Brewer.

I’ve known parents who have given their children orange juice or apple juice. Some give their children Kool-Aid. My own mother let me have ginger ale when I was sick. The reason? Because kids can be coerced into drinking liquids when those liquids taste good.

The flu season is among us and there have even been fatalities. It would be nice if Ms. Brewer would use her B.S. in journalism to continue reading her teleprompter instead of giving medical advice and freaking out parents about useful tools that can help their child stay hydrated while sick.

IIndependent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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