Cult $3 product almost costs boy his sight
A QUEENSLAND mother has warned of the dangers of a cult $3 Kmart household item.
Redland Bay mother Aimee Crowther's four-year-old son Knoxx was lucky to keep his vision in his right eye after it was stabbed by a metal drinking straw - an environmentally replacement to plastic straws.
The mother of two said her son was trying to take the straw from his one-year-old sister Malia when the accident happened.
"Knoxx loves using straws … but he tended to chew them … I saw a four pack of (metal straws) at Kmart.
"He was playing with his sister and one of them started crying," Ms Crowther said.
"He came out crying and said 'mummy my eye hurts'.
"He knew she shouldn't have the straw and he was trying to look after her."
"At first my husband said don't make a big deal of it but Knoxx's eye had gotten worse.
"Blood had taken up the corner of his eye."
Mrs Crowther took Knoxx to a Victoria Point optometrist who assessed the damage and suggested they go to the children's hospital.
"At this point I was trying to stay calm."
Doctors found two clear lacerations in Knoxx's eye caused by the straw.
"Because the edge of the metal straw was blunt, the lacerations were jagged and wouldn't have come together on their own."
And so Knoxx was given surgery the following day to clean and stitch his eye.
"I didn't think it was going to be that serious," Mrs Crowther said.
"He was really and calm until we got into the anaesthetics room … it was absolutely horrible, he was fighting it, trying to get the mask off.
"I just had to get out of that room (after the anaesthetic took effect), I was so distraught."
The surgery lasted for an hour and a half, leaving Knoxx with four dissolvable stitches.
"(The surgeons) said there may be some cosmetic scarring … but it hasn't affected his vision.
"They said that had it been any closer to the pupil he would have lost some, if not all, his sight.
"I just didn't think something like that would happen, especially to your child."
Similar metal drinking straws have been linked to other injuries, including a woman in England who was fatally impaled when she fell while using a metal straw.
"The first thing I did when I walked through the door (at home) after being at the hospital was throw all the metal straws out," Mrs Crowther said.
"I've heard stories of kids running with them and them hitting the roof of their mouths.
"But Knoxx always sits down when he drinks."
She urged parents that choose to use the environmentally friendly straws to keep them out of their children's reach when they aren't being used, and make sure they sit down when drinking from them.
However she said the safest idea was not to use a straw at all.
On its website Kmart recommends the product is not used by children under the age of eight or when people are involved in any physical activities.