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Chemical burn sends Bay Roberts child to hospital after diaper change

Steph Tucker believes these diapers she bought were the reason behind the harsh chemical burn her daughter is dealing with.
Steph Tucker believes these diapers she bought were the reason behind the harsh chemical burn her daughter is dealing with. - Chris Lewis

Diapers being tested by Huggies

BAY ROBERTS, N.L. — A Bay Roberts woman is cautioning parents to be extra careful when it comes to buying new diapers for children.

Steph Tucker is a mother of two, living with her fiancé in Bay Roberts. Her oldest child, Alexandra, turned two-years-old in July. Like most children her age, Alexandra is full of energy and curiosity.

However, on Monday, July 30, Tucker and her fiancé found themselves at the Carbonear General Hospital with their daughter after she had a frightening reaction to some new diapers, which left the child with a chemical burn.

Tucker swiftly took to social media to warn fellow mothers and fathers about the possible dangers associated with the Huggies brand diapers she used.

As of Thursday, Aug. 2 — three days after the original post was made – Tucker’s cautionary tale had been shared by just under 1,000 people, with plenty reaching out in the comments not only to express their own concern, but also claiming that they, or parents that they know, have had similar experiences in the past.

“We usually don’t even use Huggies, but we needed diapers and they were on sale. I didn’t think anything of it, of course, and picked some up,” Tucker said, noting that prior to this, she had never heard any such stories.

However, it only took approximately half an hour for Tucker’s child to begin experiencing harsh pains after being changed into the new diaper.

“I had a meeting that evening, so I wasn’t home with her,” Tucker explained. “My fiancé was, and so was my stepmother.

“First, (the step-mother) called me, but I didn’t pick up because I was in the middle of a presentation. When my fiancé called me after that, I picked up and he told me what was going on. I went straight home and, sure enough, she had what we thought was a chemical burn. We rushed her down to the hospital and, sure enough, that’s what it was.”

Tucker also explained that the diapers in the box had an odd odor to them that she nor her fiancé had noticed until the situation had already happened. She described the scent as something akin to bleach, and this is something she says the doctors smelled as well.

Tucker and her fiancé have been in contact with Huggies, who told them to ship some samples of the diapers to them in order to conduct some testing, which the couple did shortly after. Tucker hopes the tests will result in a recall of the diapers, in fear that other similar diapers may have the same effect on other children.

“It’s so, so heartbreaking as a mother to see your daughter like that,” she said. “We had no way of knowing it would have happened, but you can’t help but feel terrible about it.”

Alexandra was given some treatment for the burn after the hospital visit, and the situation seems to be improving as the days go by, though she still experiences a lot of pain, even when sitting down. Tucker struggles to even change her daughter without causing her even more pain, often resulting in fits of crying.

“Right now, it seems to be getting better, bit by bit,” she said. “We don’t really know if it’s going to have any kind of long-term effect on her or not, but obviously we’re hoping that this is the end of it.”

Tucker also added that she had been in contact with a lawyer about the situation. She was told that Alexandra will have until she’s approximately 20-years-old to make a case if, in the future, she finds that the burn has caused any sort of internal or irreparable damage, such as the inability to have children of her own – something that may be linked back to this incident.

“I just hope the word gets out there. Not even just about these diapers alone, but just in general. Parents need to be careful about everything, even something as simple as switching over to a new kind of diaper, because you never know,” Tucker said.

The Compass contacted Huggies for comment, but did not receive a response.

chris.lewis@cbncompass.ca

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