Bedford Mom, Ashley Bilek said that her daughter, Madelynn, has been attached to her pacifier “since day one”. Unfortunately, the pacifier clip got accidentally attached to the child and caused some harm to the 2-year-old.
“We call it the ‘bink,‘” said Bilek.
Coincidentally, pacifiers have also been attached to the toddler thanks to pacifier clips, which makes sure that the pacifiers stay clean and within arms reach.
However, the mother of two is now warning other parents of the potential dangers of pacifier clips after her 2-year-old daughter received a second-degree burn-like injury during a nap.
On July 23, Madelynn grabbed on to her “bink” and went down for her afternoon nap.
But a short while later, Bilek said the child woke up crying.
“When I picked her up she screamed and she grabbed her side,” said Bilek. “I lifted up her shirt and saw that she had this perfect circular wound on her. I didn’t know what it was.”
Bilek and her husband Joe packed their kids into the car and drove to the ER at Hillcrest Hospital.
“It was really traumatic for her. She’s screaming the whole time. I mean, it was horrible,” she said.
At first, it was considered whether it was a rash or an allergic reaction that Madelynn had suffered. But it was neither, in fact, according to an ER doctor at Hillcrest Hospital.
“The doctor looked at it and said, ‘That’s a burn,’ said Bilek. “I was like, ‘I didn’t burn her!’ I showed her the clip and she said, ‘Yeah, that’s identical. It must have gotten too hot.'”
The plastic and rubber clip attached to Madelynn’s pacifier turned out to be the culprit.
The toddler had fallen asleep on her pink JJ Cole pacifier clip and the doctors say that the heat from her body caused the decorative rubber ring to adhere to the child’s skin.
When Madelynn pulled the clip off of her body, a layer of skin came off it with, which caused the painful and unsightly wound that doctors have equated to a second-degree burn.
“The day we took her home from the emergency room, she just climbed into bed and didn’t move,” said Bilek
The Bileks spent the next week in and out of hospitals.
Ashley Bilek said that the medicated bandage used to treat Madelynn’s “burn” dried to the toddler’s already irritated skin, causing the wound to spread.
“Anything that stuck to her just pulled off more skin. When she went to the doctor’s office they had to rip all of her skin off and that caused even more irritation, so it kept spreading outward,” she said.
A pediatric dermatologist with the Cleveland Clinic eventually referred the young patient to MetroHealth Medical Center’s Comprehensive Burn Care Center.
“When someone is laying down on something like this and it causes pressure, it can decrease blood flow to the skin. That area of the skin kind of dies off and essentially mimics a burn injury,” said Dr. Anjay Khandelwal, the co-director of the Comprehensive Burn Center. “If she was laying on this clip for a prolonged period of time, sometimes we see damage that mimics third-degree burns, and there’s a lot of times where something like that can even cause damage to the underlying muscle.”
While Khandelwal didn’t personally treat Madelynn, he said “burn” injuries like the toddler’s aren’t uncommon.
“We’ve seen it with other patients where other different objects, if they’re laying on it funny or it’s pressed against a patient in a different way, or in a particular way, it can actually cause damage to either the skin, the underlying tissue, or even sometimes the muscle,” said Kandelwal. “Fortunately, in her case, it’s limited only to the skin, and it’s equivalent to a second-degree burn with fortunately heals and will do so without and scarring or long-term changes. Hopefully, as she grows older, this will completely disappear.”
JJ Cole, the manufacturer of the pacifier clip, provided the following written statement regarding the incident:
“Nothing is more important to us than ensuring that children’s products are safe. At JJ Cole, we take our product safety responsibilities very seriously and are committed to making our products as safe as we possibly can. All of our products, including the referred to JJ Cole Pacifier Clip, meet US safety standards and undergo third party testing to further ensure we meet those standards. Our customer service department has been in contact with this consumer several times since her initial call, at which time we immediately began to investigate the incident. There have been no other reports of this type of incident or injury for the JJ Cold Pacifier Clip. The material used to make the product is a standard TPE, commonly and safely found in a wide variety of infant and children’s products.”
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