A mom from Michigan wanted nothing more than to cuddle and play with her impish seven-month-old son, Jack. The boy had just been sleeping during his nap when mom went into his room to pluck him from the crib. However, Kristen noticed something wrong with her son right away. He had developed a strange “chemical burn” on the side of his face that totally had not been there before he went down for his nap.
Kristen was flummoxed. What had happened to her beloved Jack? Had someone burst into his room while he was sleeping and slathered his face with some sort of acid? Kristen knew that was unlikely, but she still could not figure out what had happened to her little boy. She did the responsible thing and rushed her infant son to the hospital so a doctor could get a good look at the wound on his face.
“As you become a parent, you read so much, and you learn so much, and your doctors tell you, and it’s drilled into your head,” she said.
Unfortunately, the doctors did not have many answers either. Their first reaction was that the boy had developed a bad case of ringworm. But that didn’t sit right with Kristen. She had taken good care of her boy and hadn’t exposed him to many situations where he would have been able to pick up ringworm.
However, the doctors looked closer and realized that Jack had been burned. After some investigation, Kristen helped the doctors get to the bottom of the mystery and figured out that the thing that had burned the side of Jack’s face was a pacifier – the same type given to moms of newborn babies.
Although the cause might seem benign, it could have done lasting damage to Jack. One report indicated that Jack might need to undergo expensive plastic surgery to fix the chemical burn he suffered after lying on the pacifier during his nap.
“I was just in shock,” Kristen said of the whole ordeal. “I just never thought something like this could happen.”
As a result of what happened to Jack, Kristen has started a social media campaign called #PacifierWatch to warn other parents about the dangers of leaving their pacifiers lying around. She hopes that by sharing her story, she can help other parents avoid the same heartache and worry she went through.
“I just don’t want this to happen to another baby,” Kristen said. “I feel like if I can help one mom or save one baby from going through this, then it was all worth it.”
If you are a parent, please be sure to keep your pacifiers clean and away from your baby when they are not using them. A simple thing like this can help avoid a lot of pain – both for your baby and for you. Kristen’s story is a scary reminder of how important it is to be vigilant when it comes to our children’s safety.