WARNING: Metal Water Bottles Pose a Hazard to Children

A warning for parents about the popular metal water bottles many children use – and it is surprising!

Many parents worried about the potential health hazards from plastic, disposable water bottles send their children to school and sports practices with reusable water bottles instead. However, it has been reported that the metal bottles carry a danger of their own: kids are getting their tongues stuck inside.

It may sound like a joke, but doctors say it is very serious.

Kids looking for one last sip are getting their tongues stuck inside those metal bottles, NBC’s “Today” reports. It has happened often enough that one company has pulled some of its bottles off shelves.  PrintGlobe, Inc., which makes aluminum water bottles, says it will no longer sell the bottle implicated in the accident. SIGG, another metal water bottle manufacturer, says it is investigating the safety of its’ products.

Mary Kate got her tongue trapped inside the metal water bottle, the same type kids use every day. “I put my tongue in to get the last drops, and it just got stuck, like completely jammed into the bottle,” she said.

It wouldn’t budge. Medics rushed the young girl to the Emergency Room, where doctors had to cut off the bottom of the bottle, but her tongue had swollen so much that doctors could not extract it from the bottle. It required three hours of surgery to finally get the bottle off. She then spent another three days in intensive care recovering.

Her father, Andy, stated on the “Today” show that the doctors explained the two worst-case scenarios were: one; she could suffocate if her swollen tongue blocked the airway or two; her tongue would effectively ‘die’ as she would lose use of the organ and with it, her power to speak.

How does something like this happen? Doctors believe that when some children stick their tongues in to take a drink, it creates a strong suction. The inflexible metal bottle, in addition to the narrow neck, causes the tongue to swell up inside the bottle. Doctors think that the narrow neck and strong brass ridges on the bottle act sort of like a “noose” trapping the tongue.

It also happened to an 8-year-old cheerleader from Georgia, as well as a 9-year-old North Carolina boy, “Today” reported.

The cheerleader’s mom told FOX5 that her daughter’s coaches tried to get the bottle off the girl’s tongue, but failed and called 911. Paramedics arrived and desperately tried to remove the bottle until they rushed her to a nearby hospital. The Emergency Room doctors were bewildered and began to pierce holes in the bottle.

Although she was rushed to the hospital after beginning to choke, the bottle was eventually removed, although the medical implications remain. She may require speech therapy because of possible nerve damage.

Dr. Chad Whited, who removed the bottle from the tongue of a 9-year-old boy in North Carolina, told “Today,” ‘A lot of parents are saying that their kids drink out of these water bottles all the time; nothing has ever happened and it won’t happen to them. Just like anything, any product that you give a kid, 99.99 percent of the time it’s fine, until something happens to your kid.”

And if it does happen, it can be a serious procedure. Getting the bottle off requires special surgical tools. “Anytime you’re using powdered equipment near a child’s face, it’s very serious,” Dr. Whited said.

Luckily, Mary Kate recovered from her accident and now only uses a bottle with a straw. Here is her warning to other kids about metal bottles:  “It’s a really big risk. I would never, ever take that risk.”

Her family is considering legal action against two companies who sell these metal bottles.

“All of us were saddened and concerned to hear that one of the aluminum water bottles we distributed was involved in the injury of a child and we wish her well in her recovery,” the company said in a statement to NBC. “Prior to this accident we had not heard of an accident of this nature happening with any of the water bottles we distributed. We decided to immediately remove the specific bottle from our catalog. We have also made the decision to remove all other metal water bottles with a similar design from our product offering and we encourage other distributors in our industry to do the same.”

If you or a loved one has had a similar experience, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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