A 9-month-old baby is in a Memphis, Tenn., hospital, recovering from alcohol poisoning after he apparently was given a mix of milk and vodka in his bottle, according to state child welfare officials.
The incident occurred Saturday, and six days later the baby was still under observation at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center.
"He was taken to the hospital on Saturday after he was at a relative's home where he was being babysat; there was some concerns about his safety and well-being there," Department of Childrens Services spokeswoman K. Danielle Edwards said.
DCS officials have not released the name of the baby or his mother. Members of her family spoke to ABC News affiliate WPTY-TV in Memphis, and told the station the names, but WPTY-TV decided not to report them until the investigation is complete.
DCS investigators are working with Memphis Police on the case, Edwards said.
Family members told WPTY-TV that for some reason, a 2-year-old was put in charge of fixing a bottle for his or her 9-month-old little brother, but instead of pouring in just milk, the 2-year-old added straight vodka.
DCS officials declined to comment on how much alcohol was actually in the baby's system.
It would have taken very little to have killed the infant, though. A 200-pound person would be drunk after about six ounces of straight vodka. For the average 9-month-old baby, it would only take about a half an ounce to equal what would put an adult over the legal limit. Just two and a half ounces would have been enough to put the baby in a coma or even kill him.
The family members who first told WPTY-TV about the vodka in the baby's bottle didn't want to go on camera, but they told the station that baby's mother was on a date and left her six kids with relatives Saturday night, when the infant was given the vodka.
DCS investigators are concerned that there may be more to this than just one incident with the vodka in the bottle, and that the other children in the family may have been at risk with their mother.
"All of the children in the family have been placed with a relative at this point in time and of course our investigation is ongoing and continues," Edwards said.
The investigation could take up to 60 days, she said.