An Illinois mother is warning parents of young children to understand the dangers posed by bathtub squirt toys after her 2-year-old son developed a bacterial infection in his eye that landed him in the hospital and at risk of permanent eye damage.
Eden Strong noticed her son Baylor’s eye quickly went from being a little pink to developing a full-blown infection within 12 hours. “His eye was protruding from his face,” she told CBS Chicago. “It was very obscured. He was running a raging fever.”
The concerned mother rushed Baylor to the hospital where he was given IV antibiotics and a CAT scan. “They explained that if [the infection] moved to his retina it could permanently cause blindness or if it moved to his brain it could be a lot worse.”
Luckily, Baylor’s eye healed. But his mom wants parents to realize that those fun squirting bath toys can actually retain water that can harbor bacteria and pose risks to users. Strong didn’t reveal the name of the company that manufactured the bath toys but is warning about squirting toys in general.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has not recalled any squirting bath toys but has received reports from consumers who found mold in them. The organization is charged with protecting consumers from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of products, including children’s toys.
According to CPSC, there were an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospitals in 2017, and 13 toy-related deaths among children younger than 12 years of age.