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Topics: Washington, Parents

Wednesday, 17 March 2004

image for New Children's Vitamin-- Is it up to Speed?
This carrot, while interesting, has nothing to do with the news story.

Washington, DC- Many parents are outraged today after hearing the US Department of Education's plans to begin daily distribution of Flintstone vitamins in all public schools. The new vitamin contains the recommended daily allowances of all major vitamins and minerals, including 50 mg of Ritalin.

"This is insane," said Nancy Smith, mother of three children enrolled in Indiana public schools. "Only two of my kids have ADHD, the youngest one is only in preschool and her doctor stressed that she can't be put on Ritalin until kindergarten." Under the new federal mandate, children attending public-run preschools like Smith's three-year-old daughter will have to take the vitamins, too.

FDA spokesman Immon Speed defended the government's decision, saying, "Diagnoses of ADHD have become common-place occurrences in our schools. Why, there are some inner-city schools in this nation where as many as 1 in 5 children is on Ritalin. It's becoming too cumbersome for our under-staffed nurses to keep track of. This way we can just give every child a pill, like with his or her lunch. I mean really, with the trendiness of ADHD, it won't be long until every kid is on it anyway."

Speed added, "Plus, we don't want to single out certain kids, that really hurts their self-esteem, you know?"

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