It’s every mother’s worst nightmare.
Giving a child a used toy, expecting it to be safe, only to discover needles inside it.
But that is what happened to a Victoria mother, who took to social media recently to warn other parents about the dangers ofpurchasing second-hand toys.
The mother, who is identified as Chloe North on Facebook, bought a Little Tikes piano, a multi-coloured keyboard, from ValueVillage over the weekend. At home, she wiped it down and gave it to her son Riley to play with as she cooked lunch.
A few moments later, Riley began to scream. The mother poked her head in to check on him, to find blood coming out of hismouth. After inspecting his mouth, she found a piece of a sewing needle.
“They were coming out of the back of the piano,” she said in the post that has since been shared hundreds of times on socialmedia.
She rushed him to Victoria General Hospital, where X-rays showed he had swallowed a piece of the sewing needle. While atthe hospital, she called Value Village to report the incident but was told it wasn’t the first time it has happened.
“Please, please don’t buy toys from there,” she said.
Victoria police are investigating, but said the incident is a rare occurance, and the challenge is determining where the pianocame from and the intent behind the item.
“It certainly is concerning. It’s hard to imagine someone doing something like that in an attempt to cause harm. One can onlyspeculate as to how needles end up in a toy piano,” said Bowen Osoko, acting Victoria police spokesperson. He noted themother had purchased used toys for her children in the past and was as diligent as she could have been.“Most of the time, 99times out of 100 when you buy something used, it’s not an issue, but it’s always important to keep an eye out, clean it outand inspect the item as best you can.”
When giving away items, it is also important to check them before taking them to a place of donation, Osoko added.
Calls made to Value Village were not returned before the Victoria News went to press.
Chloe has since returned the toy and the needle is expected to pass through Riley’s system. Anyone with information is askedto contact police at 250-995-7654.