This July, Ohio mom Ashley Bilek thought nothing of it when she put Madelynn, her 2-year-old daughter, down for a nap with her pacifier. When she heard Madelynn crying, she went to check on her. What she discovered next was shocking.
“When I picked her up she screamed and she grabbed her side,” Bilek told Cleveland 19 News. “I lifted up her shirt and saw that she had this perfect circular wound on her.”
Bilek had no idea what had caused the wound, so she and her husband drove their daughter to the local emergency room at Hillcrest Hospital. That’s when Bilek learned that Madelynn had been burned by the clip of her pacifier, meant to keep it clean and close to the baby.
“The doctor looked at it and said, ‘That’s a burn,’ said Bilek. “I was like, ‘I didn’t burn her!’ I showed her the clip and she said, ‘Yeah, that’s identical. It must have gotten too hot,'” Bilek explained.
Apparently, Madelynn had fallen asleep on her $3 pink JJ Cole pacifier clip,. Doctors told the child’s parents that Madelynn’s body heat made the rubber ring adhere to her skin. When removed, it tore away the skin and caused the painful wound, which doctors said was equivalent to a second-degree burn.
Poor little Madelynn’s ordeal was just beginning. Her family visited several hospitals and doctors, who struggled to properly treat the injury. Eventually, they were referred to the MetroHealth Medical Center’s Comprehensive Burn Care Center, where she was successfully treated.
It might sound like a freak accident, but doctors say that these type of injuries are more common with small children than one might think.
“This is one of the reasons why I don’t recommend pacifier clips and also make sure there isn’t anything hard or potentially dangerous or hard in a child’s sleeping space,” Tanya Altmann, MD, a pediatrician in Calabasas, California, told Parents. “It’s rare, but we see contact injuries such as this from kids sitting or sleeping on toys or sitting for too long in a car seat with something under them or from walking in shoes with straps too tight or that rub.”
If your child has sustained this type of injury or you think that a product may be unsafe, you can file a report with the Consumer Product Safety Commission online or call the agency at 800-638-2772.