A 33-year-old mother was left shattered when doctors said her son could die after the child’s tongue got stuck in a plastic water bottle.
Clare Wooff was driving to stores when Riley started making muffled sounds from the back seat, screaming that his tongue became stuck. It is believed the bottle has formed a vacuum.
The mother-of-two pulled over and thought it would be easy to free him from the bottle but it wouldn’t move. After numerous attempts, scared Riley begged his mother to call an ambulance.
Clare took him to Lancaster Royal Infirmary where medics also failed to free the boy.
As his tongue continued to swell and turn purplish to black, Clare was told Riley would need major surgery but it could kill him.
“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.
“’His tongue was going a purpley-black colour by then. 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.
“The surgeons said ‘this is really serious. We need to warn you he could die’.”
Ten medics attended his operation and managed to remove the lid under sedation. He left the hospital with his tongue intact.
Clare is now calling on parents to warn them about the dangers of water bottles. “It was the scariest day of our lives.
“I’m still really shaken. I can’t stop looking at him and welling up. To think this is an everyday item most kids would have in their school lunch boxes – it’s scary.
“Something like this could happen so easily. You never expect it.
“To other parents, please, just throw them away. Even as an adult, it’s easy to put your tongue in these bottles messing around.
“I think all bottles should have a gauze or something to stop this happening again – and Sainsbury’s should also recall [those that don’t].”
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