Many parents, seeking to protect their families from dangerous chemicals in reusable plastic water bottles have turned to metal bottles. Reports indicate that reusable metal water bottles present other dangers to children.
‘I put my tongue in to get the last drops, and it just got stuck, like completely jammed into the bottle,’ Mary Kate Person told NBC’s ”Today.”
It seems that, in attempts to get every drop out of the metal bottles, children’s tongues become jammed in the bottles’ opening. In fact, the issue has become problematic enough that at least one company has removed some of its bottles from the marketplace, said The New York Daily News.
In Mary Kate’s case, physicians cut the bottom of the bottle off and were still not able to push out her tongue, which became so swollen, it took three hours in surgery to remove the bottle. “The doctors said the two worst-case scenarios were: one, it could block her airway and she could suffocate, and two, her tongue would die, basically—she wouldn’t be able to speak anymore, she would lose her tongue,” Andy Person, Mary Kate’s father, told “Today.” The Person’s are considering legal action, said the Daily News.
Doctors believe that suction; the inflexible nature of the metal; and the narrow, rigid opening typically seen with these bottles collaborate to trap the tongue, the Daily News explained. This causes the tongue to swell.
An eight-year-old Georgia girl and nine-year-old North Carolina boy also suffered injuries associated with the metal bottles, according to an NBC “Today” report. WHAS11 reported that a number of children have required hospital treatment in similar cases. “They think that the narrow neck and strong brass ridges on the bottle act like a noose, trapping the tongue,” Dr. Chad Whited told NBC “Today.” Dr Whited removed a bottle from the tongue of the North Carolina boy, noted iVillage. “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,” Dr. Whited added.
PrintGlobe Inc., maker of aluminum water bottles, announced that it would cease selling the bottle involved in the Person accident. “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,” PrintGlobe said in a statement to NBC. “Prior to this accident, we had not heard of an incident of this nature happening with any of the water bottles we distribute…. 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.”
SIGG, which also manufactures metal water bottles. told the Daily News it is investigating its products’ safety. Parents are urged to have their children use straws or to buy a sip cap attachment for the bottles.
The trend toward aluminum water bottles followed reports that traditional, plastic water bottles were manufactured with the controversial, polycarbonate plastics chemical, bisphenol A—BPA. The ubiquitous BPA has been linked to a broad and growing away of serious, many long lasting, adverse health effects.