An Australian mother has a warning for parents after her youngest daughter was badly hurt when the cord of her school hat wrapped around her neck in a playground accident.
The Chronicle reported that earlier this week, the 5-year-old was playing with her friends at recess when she jumped from the climbing net on the side of the playground.
That was when her broad-brimmed hat became stuck between the nets, leaving her hanging by the neck for a few seconds before the cord snapped.
She suffered bad rope burn around her neck but her mom, who wishes her family to remain anonymous, said it could have been much worse.
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“It looks like her throat’s been slit. The doctor checked her out and there has been no damage to vocal cords but she could have broken her neck,” she said.
“You drop your child off at school and assume they are safe. I know accidents happen but preventable ones shouldn’t.
“We look at children’s safety so much these days and for this hat to still be available isn’t acceptable.
“It is a death waiting to happen. To pick your child up from school and know she has almost hung herself is horrible and she is traumatized by it.”
The mother wanted to tell her daughter’s story to make other parents aware of the possible dangers of broad-brimmed hats.
“When I bought the hat I wondered if it was safe having a cord around my little girl’s neck but I thought it must be safe if it is a compulsory school uniform,” she said.
“But as a parent I should have realized it wasn’t a good idea.”
Kidsafe Queensland CEO Susan Teerds said it was a preventable incident.
“You used to hear of this happening more often before the quick release clip-on broad-brimmed hats were introduced a few years ago,” she said.
“Broad-brimmed hats now come with small clips attached to the string and under a small amount of pressure the string releases, to avoid this happening.
“Every school and chain store needs to recommend these hats to parents. They should be available to all schools.
“We know that having a drawstring around a child’s neck can be a hazard so we need to do anything we can to make it safer.
“One injury is one injury too many and children could even die from this.
“The shock of it would have been horrendous for the young girl.”
The Toowoomba, Australia mother said the quick-release hats were not available at her school.
“I did some research into these hats and my school doesn’t offer them and I don’t know how many other schools around Toowoomba also don’t stock them,” she said.
“I have suggested it to the principal that they become available.”
The Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office spokesman Patrick Coughlan also commented on the situation in regards to school uniform policies.
“Each school has a policy which covers both sun safety and uniform requirements for students,” he said.
“Those policies are developed locally in consultation with parents and the broader community and are reviewed from time to time as the need arises.”
This article originally appeared on News.com.au.
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