‘Crack babies’ aren’t severely damaged, researchers find

She’d look at her daughter and worry.

The eczema on her skin — why was it so bad? And what about the way the toddler constantly stared at her hand — was that a sign of something neurologically wrong?

She’d look at her daughter and pray: Don’t let it be the drugs, please not because I smoked cocaine every day for the first months you were in my womb.

There’s been no shortage of such prayers since the advent of the term “crack baby.” And years of research indicate that many may have been answered.

“These drugs are noxious and not good for the baby,” said Howard Kilbride, chief of the neonatology section at Children’s Mercy Hospital, who helped conduct one study into prenatal cocaine exposure.

“But they seem to get by and tolerate it in most cases.”

So that big fan of Elmo, the one who says everything is “MINE,” is a healthy 2-year-old.

“That just lets me know I made a terrible mistake, but she’s going to be OK,” said the relieved Kansas City mother, who asked to be identified only by her last name, Williams, to protect her child from stigma. The research “takes away some of the worry that I had in the beginning.”

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