Mom Shares Terrifying Playground Story To Warn Other Families

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Image via Facebook

She’s speaking out in hopes of helping others

An Australian mom is sharing the story of her daughter’s serious injury to alert parents and prevent other families from experiencing the same thing. Her little girl nearly strangled herself on the playground because of a pretty common accessory many of our kids probably own.

Though most sun hats with straps for children come equipped with a cord that will release under pressure, some don’t unfasten too easily, a lesson Gail Oster and her six-year-old daughter Marley learned the hard way. Oster purchased the hat from her daughter’s school’s uniform shop, and by the next day, it caused Marley a terrible injury. If not for the quick thinking of a friend she was playing with, it could’ve been much worse.

According to The Advertiser, eight-year-old schoolmate Madison Fleming spotted Marley struggling on a spiral playground slide, her hat cord caught in a groove, and rushed to free her. Fleming was able to ease her way down the slide and release the safety clip, setting the little girl free.

Oster writes, “Warning parents!!! My daughter today was hung by her own hat on the slide at school….It was a school hat with a QUICK/SAFETY RELEASE CLIP that was suppose to open under pressure, this didn’t happen.”

The mom later found out from a doctor that another 45 seconds of being stuck that way, and Marley’s windpipe would have collapsed. The doctor also said if another child hadn’t noticed Marley trapped and went down the slide they could’ve collided with her, causing her neck to break.

Along with her Facebook post are photos of Marley that will make any parent cringe.

Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

The culprit? This sun hat that, as Oster explains, was supposed to release under pressure. Obviously, it didn’t work as it was meant to.

Image via Facebook

Oster pleads in her Facebook post that others learn from her daughter’s experience. “Please all parents either check your child’s hat that the clip releases under pressure or cut the cord completely off the hat.”

In a letter to parents, the Adelaide public school says they’ll “suspend further sales of this style of hat and seek further safety advice,” while “working to provide an alternative style of hat.”

Oster tells The Daily Mail what action she feels should be taken with these hats in the future. “No cords and no clips, it’s a hazard. Thankfully, the parents that have been affected with these hats, we’ve been able to take our kids home. But one day that won’t happen,” she said. “There will be a child that dies, there will be a family that gets that phone call.”

A quick Google reveals that while hats like this are available here in the states with the same claims of a quick-release cord, there are also plenty with no cord at all. If this is a hazard that concerns you, it’s best to stick with a cordless version.

Hopefully, her daughter’s near-miss will result in widespread awareness of this very scary (and sneaky) way for a child to get hurt.

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