By Emily RivasUpdated Mar 29, 2017
Photo: Gail Oster via Facebook
As the warmer weather approaches, you're probably already thinking about buying spring and summer gear for your kids. But before you go shopping, you may want to hear an Australian mom's warning about how an innocuous-looking sun hat could seriously harm your kid.
Gail Oster's six-year-old daughter Marley was out on the playground when she nearly strangled herself with her sun hat's drawstrings. She was going down a spiral slide when her hat cord got caught in a groove. Luckily, a friend spotted her and rushed to her aid, releasing Marley and preventing her from what was almost the absolute worst-case scenario.
Many sun hats for kids feature chin strap fasteners that release under pressure, but some don't, or they can malfunction, and Oster wants to make sure parents are aware of this. Here's what her Facebook post said:
"Warning parents!!! My daughter today was hung by her own hat on the slide at school... It was a school hat with a QUICK/SAFETY RELEASE CLIP that was suppose to open under pressure, this didn't happen. Please all parents either check your child's hat that the clip releases under pressure or cut the cord completely off the hat."
Though Marley is OK, Oster later found out from the doctor that if her daughter had been stuck that way for another 45 seconds, Marley's windpipe would've collapsed. And if another kid had come down behind her while she was stuck, her neck would have broken.
The sun hat was actually part of Marley's school uniform and was bought at the store that supplies the school garb. The school, Adelaide Public School, has since sent out a letter to parents stating that they'll suspend further sales of the hat and are looking to provide an alternative style.
We're glad Marley's alright and that this incident can help spread the word of this potential hazard. Though most kids' sun hats do have toggles that release under pressure, and malfunctioning isn't common, you can also always opt for a bucket hat or sun hats that have Velcro straps instead.