Two weeks ago, I was tucking Nate into bed when he said to me, “Mom, an ambulance came to the playground today at recess.”  He said it as an afterthought and I pressed him for information.  He told me that a girl (6 years old) in the other first grade class got her tongue stuck in a bottle.  An ambulance had to come to school to take her away to get the bottle taken off of her because it was stuck.

I figured he got the story wrong, or something else had happened.  I couldn’t really envision what kind of bottle a child could get their tongue stuck in and I pretty much brushed off his story and forgot about it until the following week.

That next week, we received a note from our school principal informing us of what did happen – that a First Grade girl did indeed get her tongue stuck inside of a metal bottle and the situation was severe.  She had to have surgery and was in intensive care for three days.

Thankfully she’s okay and back at school but this is definitely a good warning to all parents who have metal water bottles in their house.

Her father appeared on our local ABC news station later that week.  You can see the story & video here on the Philadelphia ABC station’s website.  I’m warning you all, the images are graphic and tough to see.

But it’s worth watching and reading as there is obviously a danger to metal bottles that I know I personally was unaware of in the past.  (It was the treading on the inside neck of the bottle that caused this to happen.  Watch the vid for details.)


  1. holy cow

  2. Kathy Loan says

    I don’t understand how/why her tongue got *into* the water bottle in the first place, and I didn’t hear an explanation in the story. Do you know? Did it somehow get sucked in there?

  3. Kathy – you know I’ve wondered that myself and I haven’t gotten an answer. My guess is that it’s just a kids will be kids – she probably stuck her tongue in there licking up the last bit of juice or water or something. I don’t think it got *sucked* in, more that maybe she twisted or moved it when in there in a way that it lodged b/c of the inner ribbing on the bottle

  4. What is so hard to understand, apparently Kathy does not have children. Whether it be a tongue, finger, putting an object in an ear/nostril, putting your head into an object, legs, arms, if it can be done they WILL try it. In the north where it is freezing, kids stick their tongues on freezing metal poles. Result it sticks there.

  5. It is important to note that this was a screw top/open top metal bottle not a straw bottle. The screw top bottles have been very popular for some time now. The straw bottles are much safer as it leaves less places for a curious child to get into trouble. That poor little girl. It seems that her tongue created a vaccuum affect with her tongue.

  6. I’m just thinking that this also could have happened with a plastic bottle. People concerned about the health of people and of the planet have been working hard for years to raise awareness of the toxins associated with plastic bottles and the estrogen mimicking chemicals they contain. This generalization and scariness of headline was disturbing, since that’s as far as some readers will get.

    Wide mouth metal bottles or straw top metal bottles are clearly a better choice for children, but please don’t go back to plastic if you’ve come this far – it’s definitely not safer, the dangers are just better hidden.

  7. Elizabeth – a friend said that to me in person regarding the implications on getting rid of all the eco-friendly bottles in the house. I would hope that wouldn’t be the reaction. I have a mix of eco-friendly bottles in my house – both with straws, metal ones with ridges (that I’m getting rid of) and metal ones that don’t have ridges.

    I would hope people will get past the headline and read everything. I’d certainly want to know the whys.

  8. Kathy Loan says

    I have four year old twins, jillijo. I never said it was “hard” for me to understand, I said I didn’t understand and the article didn’t explain it. It’s hard to warn our kids about something without knowing the specifics. There really isn’t any need to be snarky.

  9. Kathy Loan says

    Oh, and thank YOU, Whitney, for your non-snarky response.

    I also hope that people don’t abandon the idea of metal water bottles because of this (my kids use metal water bottles, but they’re the SIGG ones for kids that have tops on them). Hopefully there’s a safe solution that eco-friendly, too!!

  10. This is awful! I can see how some of the aluminum ones with ridges that face inwards might be a problem! If you feel your metal water containers you can tell whether they are smooth or have slightly sharp and ‘sticky’ ridges on the inside neck- I can see how those might pose a risk.
    Its also possible she got a small cut on her tongue or something and had a reaction to the metal itself causing her tongue to swell up so much! Either way its a strong reminder to just double check some of the products we use.
    So scary- but glad she is ok!

  11. this actually is a bit of an “old” issue

  12. Okay folks so here it is. She was likely sticking her tongue in AND creating suction by sucking out all the air as a trick. After a few time of sucking out all the air her tongue swelled and then she couldnt get it off. I am sorry this happened but I dont think she was just sticking her tongue in to lick the last bits of juice and like magic her tongue was stuck.

  13. This Blog was most helpful, your ideas are straight to the point, and the colors are cool too.

Speak Your Mind