Letting your child sleep with a pacifier could have some painful consequences.
A Michigan mother is warning parents about the potential dangers after her son experienced a nasty suction burn.
Kristen Milhone of Lowell, Mich. noticed something on the face of her seven-month-old son’s face early in the morning on June 20.
As she tended to her son, Jack, she noticed something was causing him distress.
“I picked him up, and there was a really big bump on the side of his head,” Milhone said in an interview with People. “I was like, ‘Oh, that’s weird.’ So, I turned the light, and it looked like the start of chemical burns on his right cheek.”
The worried mother took her son to the emergency room at Helev Devos Children’s Hospital, where doctors tried to figure out the cause of the burn. After ruling out ringworm, doctors asked Milhone if she remembered anything else around her son when she first noticed the blister.
Milhone told doctors that Jack had fallen asleep with his pacifier — a Philips Avent Soothie. The silicone pacifier is unlike traditional soothers, and has an open space where a handle would normally be placed.
“I went and got the pacifier out of his car seat, and the doctor took the backside of the pacifier and he measured the opening on the backside of the pacifier to the spot on Jack’s face,” Milhone said. “It was the exact same size.”
Doctors told Milhone that her son likely rolled onto the pacifier while sleeping, creating a suction between his skin and the soother’s open end creating what they deemed ‘suction burn.’
“There’s just something that goes through your head, like disbelief. I mean, I thought it had to have been something else, there’s no way it could be something you trusted so much,” Milhone revealed. “It was hard for me to understand or wrap my head around the fact that this caused him harm.”
While Milhone is warning parents who’s children use similar pacifiers, the makers of the soother have issued a statement announcing an investigation into the potential risks of their design.
“Nothing is more important than the satisfaction and safety of our Philips Avent family. We are aware that one of our customers had a specific situation arise and we are committed to investigating her concern,” the statement read. “We have a strict process in place to evaluate quality and safety concerns.”
The company also stated that they ensure their products “meet or exceed” regulatory requirements for children’s products.
According to Milhone, her son’s burn is healing, and is much less noticeable than before. She also notes that her son’s sleeping behaviour has changed since the incident.
“You can still tell he’s very sensitive in that area, so we still put the cream on it, but he pulls away a lot,” Milhone said. “He used to actually like to roll on that side, and he doesn’t roll on that side anymore like when he sleeps. He’ll like wake himself up as soon as his head touches the mattress.”
Milhone is understandably extra cautious since the injury and no longer leaves the pacifier with her son while he sleeps.
“I totally understand that this could have been like a one in a billion thing,” Milhone said. “But still, I would never have put him to bed even if there was that one in a billion chance with a pacifier that could have harmed him.”