Mom warns other parents about the dangers of weighted stocking holders
Decorating the house for the holidays can be a blast. But as fun as it is to let your inner Joanna Gaines come out and play, one mom is reminding us that just because something’s festive doesn’t mean it’s kid friendly or baby safe. Nicole Mackintosh Leo’s son suffered a serious accident with life long effects when he was 14-months-old after pulling a weighted stocking holder down on himself. Now, three years later, Leo’s sharing the story on Facebook in hopes of preventing another child from getting injured.
She describes how her son pulled the stocking holder down onto himself from the mantle, and how it hit him in a very delicate location. “Three years ago, my son (then 14 months) was at home with his nanny when he pulled on a Christmas stocking and the weighted stocking holder fell and hit him directly in his left eye,” she wrote. Sadly, the toddler’s injuries were very serious. “After emergency surgery at Harborview, the doctors determined that the damage was too extensive and that he would need to have his eye removed,” she explained. “One week later we were at Children’s for his enucleation [eye removal] surgery.”
We’ve all seen these weighted stocking holders, usually with cute snowmen or reindeer on the front, with a solid, heavy base. In fact, you might have some on your mantle right now. They’re heavy in order to counter balance the weight of all the goodies you stuff into the stockings for Christmas. Because they’re usually on a shelf or a mantle, it’s easy to see why we’d think that they’re safely out of reach of little hands. But we all know toddlers (and even older kids TBH) are masters are getting into things they’re not supposed to, so it’s totally easy to see how they could grab hold of the stocking and pull the heavy holder down on themselves, just like Leo’s son did.
If you’re wondering how you’ll hang the stockings by the chimney with care without your holders, Leo has a suggestion. “There are much safer alternatives on Amazon; we use 3M Command hooks,” she says. Personally I’m all about white duct tape.
Even in spite of such a serious injury at such a young age, Leo says her now little boy is doing amazing. “Our story has a happy ending. Our son has a flawless prosthetic eye. He is one of the silliest, bravest, most fun-loving boys I know. He plays soccer, t-ball, and he loves swimming,” she writes. We are lucky.”
Still, it’s her hope that sharing their story will prevent someone else’s child from getting hurt. “I hope by posting this, I’m raising awareness,” she says. Please reconsider using weighted stocking holders.”