Well last night I was on the evening news. No I didn’t break the law or anything like that. I was telling my story I shared on Facebook that went viral.
It was the beginning of August. My family and I were at our local Superstore doing our Sunday grocery and it had taken a bit longer than usual. We heard over the loud speaker that the store would be closing in 15mins, so we hurried to the tills to pay for our items. While we stood in line I realized we would not have time to stop for soothers before the other stores closed for the night. Here in Winnipeg most stores close at 6pm on Sundays. So I left hubby and the kids in line and I ran to the baby sections to grab some soothers. The only orthodontic tip soothers they had available that night were the PC brand. So I grabbed a pack and ran back to the till.
That night I got back home and washed them according to the package and of course inspected them for defects. Z used them that night and the next day would a hitch.
The problem happened the next day at nap time. As usual I get all my daycare kids ready for nap. I had changed and pottied Z first so I put him in his playpen with the soother and blankie. I had quickly checked it like I do everytime I give it to him and it was intact. Then I took the other children to their beds for nap.
When I came back upstairs to grab Z to do our usual little lessons and story before nap, I found him struggling. I looked down on the floor and there was the base of the soother, but no nipple. Luckily I was able to get it out of his throat by flipping him over and giving 2 strong smacks to his back. When I took him to his room I went and looked at the soother he had used the night before and it was separating from the base as well.
When my hubby got home I took my son and the pacifier to the store I purchased it, since it was a store brand. The manager on duty was shocked and was just as angry as I was. He suggested I call the number on the package and he would have the store manager call me when he got in the next afternoon.
The head office contacted me first. They made arrangements to pick up the soothers via Purolator to send to the manufacturer for testing. Shortly after I spoke to them, the store manager called me back. He was glad I was being taken care of by head office, and that was who he planned to contact.
Weeks later I got a phone call from the company. They said it was because my son bit it off and no fault of the product. They were going to send me a $25 gift card to cover my refund and whatever was extra was in good fate. I tried to explain that my son had never done this to a soother before and not since. I didn’t believe he bit it off. ESPECIALLY in all of 5 mins. This was a new soother, not one that was months old. I asked to speak to higher ups, but was told that they would tell me the exact same thing. So I told the woman that I would have no choice but to go to the media. We ended our conversation.
So I went to my computer and turned to social media. Luckily I had taken photos of the soothers before I sent them to the company. I wrote what happened and how I was treated by the company. Honestly I am not out for money. I didn’t even care if I was refunded for the soothers. I just didn’t want another child and parent going through what I had. But the fact they just felt $25 was a good enough bandaid for the situation was a slap in the face. What that what my child’s life worth them.
The what ifs haunt me.
-What if I just put him to bed and not in the playpen to wait for me to be read to read stories and do lessons?
– What if I froze and he choked to death?
-What if this happens to another mother who is not trained in First Aid CPR?
So I turned to social media on the Friday and made my post. I posted it to my wall, and 2 local groups and asked them to spread the word. I also posted it on the Loblaws website. I don’t think I fully understood the power of social media. I saw it was getting shared and I was satisfied. If I could warn a few moms about this that is all I wanted.
On Monday I was getting ready to take my son and daycare kids for a walk when my hubby called. “Did you give my work number to a reporter from CTV names Beth?” I told him of course I didn’t. Then my Facebook messenger went off. It was a woman from my Daycare Providers group on Facebook. She had received this message to her Kijiji ad.
Hi, I am contacting you from CTV News in Winnipeg. I am looking for a woman in Transcona who has a home daycare called Monique Dupuis. She had a big problem with pacifier she purchased recently. Hoping you can reach our to me as soon as possible if you know this woman or how to reach her. My phone number is(phone number). Thank you! Beth Macdonell | Producer & Reporter CTV Winnipeg |
I went into my Other folder on Facebook and found her message. I messaged her back and told her my hubby and I would be happy to talk to her that night and give her his cellphone number. Honestly my hubby is a better speaker then I am. Heck thats what he does for a living! But she wanted the interview with me and asap. Hubby and I decided that I would do it alone once all my daycare kids were down for a nap.
Before the interview I checked to see how many people had shared my picture. I honestly thought it was shared maybe 200 times. I was shocked to see if was at 6,000+.
After the interview was over I noticed I had missed a call from the company. But my phone was acting weird and it appeared they had not left a message. When I called the number back I needed to have an extension, so I figured they would call back.
That night 30mins before the 6pm news, Beth called me and said they needed to polish the story and it would not air that night. I was a surprise because a girlfriend had told me she had seen me on the preview for the evening news before Dr.Phil.
That night while I was waiting for Wes to finish piano lessons, I noticed a missed voicemail. It was a rep from the company I called them back and left a message, but obviously at 7pm no one was in the office.
The next morning a rep called me. We spoke on the phone for 20mins or so. She went on to apologize for the incident, and if I felt attacked by the last rep to contact me. They do not blame the baby. They were speaking with quality assurance teams as well as the manufacturer to see what had happened and what to do to prevent it. They told me that soothers were very regulated and they had to pass 10lbs of pressure to break it. When I asked her then how my 23lbs child could produce such pressure she had no answer for me. Apparently I was the only person to report this issue, and so they feel the product as of now is safe. I told her if it happens once its too much. I was able to get her to pass my information onto the vender to contact me. Whether they do or not is another story. She also told me she was passing on the additional details that I provided to her that were not in the original report to share with the quality assurance team. At this point I felt I have done about all I could. I informed her I had already spoken to the media. But now even though I’m not 100% happy with the results of the conversation, I feel a bit more like they are taking a few more steps and I don’t feel like they are blaming the victim, my son. She told me she still wanted to send me the gift card for the refund and she was going to send me a gift basket full of their line of clothes for all three of my children. Not to sweep it under the rug, or minimize what had happened. But as an apology gesture from their family to ours.
That night the interviewed aired. I was surprised when hubby yelled out, “Turn on channel 5!” His coworker had seen the preview for the story. My phone started going off. “Is that you on TV?”
Overall I’m really happy how the interview turned out. But it was only 3mins long so how could they get the whole story. I guess that is why I am writing this. I feel a bit slapped in the face that the company still seems to stand by that it was Z’s fault. But the word is out. The doctor said that parents should use one piece pacifiers. Basically saying indirectly, don’t buy this brand. As of right now the post I shared on facebook has been shared 12,497 times, meaning AT LEAST that many people have read my warnings. Plus my story was played on the 6pm, 8am and 12pm news feeds. My story is out and I feel I can back off knowing I did what I could do to get the word out. Life goes on.
You can watch the interview HERE.
Pacifier Safety Tips:
Check your child’s soother/pacifier every time you give it to them for holes, rips or signs of wear.
Change soothers/pacifiers every 2-3 months.
Never tie a soother or pacifier around your child’s neck
Finally use a ONE piece soother. They are less likely to break off like my son’s did.
Since the incident, I found some nice solid one piece pacifiers that I trust for on son. In the past when he was a newborn we used Avent Soothies or Gumdrop soothers. Thing is once he was a few months old I switched to and orthodontic tip soother and I wanted to stick with that. Then I found the Munchkin Latch soother. However it just seemed too thin for my liking. I’m sure there is nothing wrong with it, but after our experience I wanted something I could feel 100% confident in. Then I found the Born Free Bliss one piece pacifier. Now this is a heavy duty soother with the right tip!
I made one mistake throughout is whole process, I went and read the comments on Facebook and on CTV’s website. Oh yes, everyone has an opinion and it seems to be to blame the victim. I was reminded of all the Mommy Wars talk. It seemed several of the commenters thought Z is too old for a soother. Oh my image if I told them he still nurses 1-3 times a day and I still babywear him.
Each child is very different. My oldest came off the soother the day his 2 year molars came in at 25 months old. He needed it to keep is fingers out, otherwise he’d stick them so far back he would make himself vomit.
Z is 28 months old. But he is still very oral. As a former pediatrician dental assistant I see a slight over bite from it, and so does his dentist, but overall it hasn’t altered the development of his palate. His occupational therapist agreed with us that it was a good block to keep other things out of his mouth. And the 2 speech therapist we have seen don’t feel it is affecting his speech as he has a HUGE vocabulary and clear speech for his age.
There were no age limits on the package of soothers or I can assure you I would have followed the guidelines. However for all these people to immediately attack my family with their ideas that all children should be off soothers “when they can put them in an out themselves”, “1 year old”, “as soon as they cut teeth”, and so on shame on you. Each child is different, and each circumstance is different. When I read about babies who have chemical burns from diapers or wipes, I don’t troll and say, “Oh well they should be in cloth diapers and that would have never happened.”
I know when I was pregnant with my oldest, I had very clear ideas how I was going to raise my child. Out of diapers by 18 months, no soothers EVER, I was going to breastfeed till 1. Then he was born and shit got real. My son was potty trained a month after he turned three because he has severe digestive issues. The day we got home from the hospital he started sucking his thumb, thumb habits were harder to break then soother habits so I sent his father out to buy some soothers. I breastfeed for 3 weeks before PPD took over and I could not handle it anymore.
At the end of the day. Please learn from my story. If your little one doesn’t need the soother all the power to you. If they do, please find a solid one piece soother and inspect it every time you give it to your child. Also brush up on your First Aid/CPR, you never know when you will have to use it.