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article imageArizona mom allegedly gives toddler beer in a sippy cup

By Leigh Goessl     Jul 10, 2012 in Crime
An Arizona mother was arrested after allegedly pouring beer into her toddler's sippy cup at a pizza parlor. Her reasoning? To stop him from reaching for the beer.
According to, the 36-year-old mother was seemingly tired of her son repeatedly reaching for a pitcher of beer, so she allegedly poured some of it in with her son's apple juice.
She purportedly told police she gave her 2-year-old son a "splash of beer" as a deterrent, figuring he would not like it.
According to MyFoxPhoenix, the mother said she was using "reverse psychology" so he would stop reaching for the beer.
A witness saw the mother give her son beer, and after the boy fell out of his high chair, "presumably intoxicated", called 911.
Valerie Topete was arrested after police detected beer inside the sippy cup. Topete allegedly admitted she saw her son drink the beer.
The boy is reportedly doing fine and in the custody of his father, along with two other siblings, aged 4 and 8, reported ABC News.
Fox News reported Topete "is looking at a child abuse charge which is a class 4 felony."
Family Education contributor Shari Nethersole, M.D. said in response to a question (unrelated to this case) about children and beer, that the drink "provides absolutely no benefit to the child and it can be quite harmful. While a few small sips of wine may not seem like much for a 170 lb. adult, that amount can have significant effects in a 28 pound two-year-old."
Nethersole noted harmful effects on kids such as lowered blood sugar levels, causing irritability, confusion, and even seizures, as well as that "it would probably take only two ounces (about seven child-sized mouthfuls) to reach a blood-alcohol level that exceeds the legal limit for driving."
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