Cheng Cheng, a two-year-old Chinese boy can live without milk, but not without alcohol.
The toddler, who lives in the Anhui province of China, has become an international sensation for showing extreme addiction to alcohol at such a young age.
Cheng was just 10-months-old when he tasted alcohol for the first time and downed his first bottle of beer before celebrating his first birthday, The Daily Mail reported.
The boy’s father is said to have dipped chopsticks in white wine and put it in his infant’s mouth. “At that time, all of us in the family have already thought that this child can really drink a lot when he grows up,” Cai Teng, Cheng’s aunt told the Shanghaiist.
Though his parents tried to lure him toward milk and juices, all attempts failed and the boy now can go to any lengths just for a sip of alcohol.
The boy’s addiction to alcohol has made special occasions and festivals, a difficult experience for the whole family.
“As sometimes he is really noisy, we have no options but let him to try a little bit of wine,” a family member, added.
Concerned about the unhealthy habit, the family is taking extreme precaution to keep bottles away from the little boy. “We will not let him drink or touch alcohol anymore as we afraid that it will affect his growth,” Cai added.
The picture of the toddler emptying a large bottle of alcohol has gone viral on the net, raising concerns both among local authorities and health experts.
Though, the Chinese boy showed an ability to tolerate beer at a young age, some recent incidents show that exposure to alcohol at a young age can be risky and life-threatening. For instance, an eight-year-old boy named Lejin from Kollam district of Kerala in India died after he consumed his father’s Bacardi Gold rum.
There is a clear reason why kids are not allowed to consume alcohol. According to health experts, exposure to alcohol at a young age can affect children’s development. A CDC fact sheet on underage drinking links the habit to disruption of normal growth, memory problems, alterations in brain development, alcohol poisoning, death and academic problems. Additionally, prolonged exposure to alcohol can damage the liver and increase the risk of being hooked to alcohol in adulthood.
Source: IB Times