I abhor choking hazards. I am the mom that you’ll see cutting up all her kids hot dogs, ages seven and under into tiny, non-chokable-sized pieces. Oh, yes, and that’s me at the church picnic using the plastic knife cutting up those gorgeous, healthy grapes. And oh, yes, that’s me going around at a birthday party to pick up popped balloons that are scattered on the floor. And, yep…I am the one biting the hard candy in half before giving it to my child. I am also the mom that asks you, “Is it hard or chewy?” when you offer candy to a small child.
One of my biggest fears as a mom has been choking hazards. The second is probably SIDS. And, honestly, I don’t think any mom can be too careful in those two areas of keeping your child safe. Let the people stare at me when I cut up the hotdogs, but I don’t want my child being the one gagging and making choking signs during a birthday party. My kids are just way too important to take a chance.
But this little thing…??? No one told me that it could be a choking hazard — and they are everywhere!
My husband uses them to keep long chords from getting tangled, or to bunch other items together. They have never been in reach because my husband keeps them stored inside his tool box or a locked cabinet — but we didn’t choose to do that for safety. It was just the best place to store them.
But, then I read my friend’s story on Facebook and knew I had to get the word out about this super-small, everyday item that could cost your child her life. Yes, that’s a pretty important item to talk to parents about!
My friend, who is a mom of three, was at en expo center for a local show. Her family goes to this show often and sales and buys items. She was there with her family — her husband, her son, and her two daughters. While she was at the show, she decided to go on a short walk with her friend. She took her son, but left her five and three-year-old daughters with her husband.
During that time, the dad was chatting with someone when he suddenly heard a gurgling noise. He looked down and saw his three-year-old daughter — and she was blue. She was desperately trying trying to cry to get his attention, but she couldn’t breathe.
Her mom said that it was, “The most frightening thing ever.”
Around the three-year-old’s neck was a zip-tie that had been tightened. The cute little girl wanted to wear the zip-tie as a necklace. When she wanted to remove the necklace, she ended up tightening it — almost to the point of being strangled to death.
The three-year-old’s father immediately jumped into action to help his daughter. He couldn’t fit his finger between her neck and the zip-tie, but her five-year-old sister spied some cutters nearby, grabbed them and handed them to her father. He was able to use those, even though he had to break the skin, to cut off the zip-tie and save his daughter’s life.
The three-year-old suffered from broken blood vessels around her neck, face and ears.
When I told my friend I wasnted to share her story, she thought it was definitely something that parents needed to be aware of.
“I saw zip-ties laying on the ground everywhere. Lots of kids were playing with them.” my friend relayed to me.
And you know what? I can totally see that. They’re plastic, not round and don’t look threatening — but they almost cost a three-year-old her life.
Many other items can cause strangulation and choking — like long chords and wires. Check out these ways to store those cords and wires so you can keep your home kid-friendly!
Dear parents, please, please be careful to store zip-ties in an area where children cannot access them. And, be aware when you are going to large sales — for instance, those huge, second-hand consignment sales — where zipties just may be laying on the ground. And one more thing? Share this article with anyone and everyone that you know that has a child and keep kids safe!. You could save a life.