You wouldn’t have thought that drinking out of water bottle would turn into a life-threatening situation, but that is exactly what happened to this six-year-old boy from Lancaster. Riley Woof was in his mother’s car and drinking out of his Sainsbury’s reusable plastic water bottle when his tongue got stuck in the lid.
He tried to pull his tongue out but couldn’t do so and started shouting to his mother, 33-year-old Clare, who was driving. She pulled over and thought that he was overreacting but realised that her son’s tongue was indeed stuck firmly in the lid and wouldn’t budge, The Sun UK reported.
Clare sent him to the Lancaster Royal Infirmary, Lancs, where several medics attempted to remove the lid but failed as well. During this time, his tongue started swelling and doctors told Clare that Riley would require major surgery but it could be life-threatening, which was when she realised that the situation was really serious.
The hospital arranged for 10 doctors and four specialists who discussed what to do. “The doctors said ‘this is a real risk. The risks are he could lose his breathing when we cut the lid off. The swelling could go down his throat and he may need a tracheotomy, which would land him in intensive care.’ He also said he had a big risk of heart attack because when the tongue is released, all the blood would circulate quickly and one of the major veins is in there,” Clare explained.
“The surgeons said ‘this is really serious. We need to warn you he could die’. They took him up to theatre and managed to sedate him, not put him to sleep. They took the bottle off, and he managed to handle his airways fine,” she added.
Luckily, they managed to remove the lid after that and his tongue remained intact but swollen, leaving him with a speech impediment as he couldn’t put it back in his mouth. Days later, his tongue was still peeling and swollen, which meant that he still had a speech impediment.
Clare was shocked by this event and shared her tale to warn other parents. She says that this happened as the water bottles did not have safety gauze to protect the tongue. She has now called on parents to throw out similar water bottles and is asking Sainsbury’s to recall these as she feels that they aren’t safe.
Clare said, “It was the scariest day of our lives. To think this is an everyday item most kids would have in their school lunch boxes – it’s scary. To other parents, please, just throw them away. Even as an adult, it’s easy to put your tongue in these bottles messing around.”
Meanwhile, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson has replied and said that it was an isolated incident. However, they confirmed that they will investigate this incident and wished Riley a speedy recovery.
That’s really dangerous! Remind your kids not to do that when drinking from their water bottles!
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