Girl injured by sippy cup

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POSTED: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - 4:51pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 4, 2011 - 2:57am

BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) -- A Baton Rouge father fights to get a child's drinking cup off the market. That's after his daughter recieved a life-threatening injury while using it.

"I let them pick out the sippy cups. They're so colorful. I said, you each get one. One for Hayden. One for Holden," says David Peterson. "Do you think at the time I was thinking this was a dangerous product? No. No."

In October of 2010, David Peterson got the scare of a lifetime. "I heard this horrible cry that I've never heard in my life,"he explained. His three-year-old, Holden, had fallen on top of her Arrow Sonic Sipper cup. The rigid straw on the product had actually impaled her through the eyelid and lodged inside her brain.

"It was this sinking feeling I had never felt before," Peterson says. "I couldn't believe that this had happened."

Peterson rushed Holden to the hospital with the cup still embedded in her brain. Neurologists decided she would have to undergo immediate emergency surgery to remove it. "The neurologist told me that a centimeter to the right, the left, could have meant paralysis, death.  I could have walked in on that child dead, laid out dead, all because of a sippy cup."

 Months later, Holden is recovering well,  but the impact of the accident lingers. "There is no doubt in my mind that she will remeber this incident for the rest of her life," Peterson says.

Now, his goal is to get Arrow Plastic Manufacturing Company to recall the product or fix the design. "This could happen to anybody," he says. "This could happen to an adult. Who is to say that someone walking with this cup at an LSU football won't trip over something? It can penetrate someone's eye, someone's mouth, someone's nose. It can easily hurt somebody."

Peterson contacted Baton Rouge attorney Spencer Calahan to help him out. Calahan contacted the company. He says their response to the situation is frustrating. "The response we got back from the manufacturer was it's a good seller and we don't see the problem." According to their letter, Holden's accident was the first of it's kind.

"I would think that because its never happened then they should be more concerned about that," says Peterson.

Calahan says the manufacturing company suggested that Holden was using the sippy cup the wrong way. "A three-year-old is going to do what a three-year-old wants and that's why it has to be safe."

Calahan says the company has not offered to pay for any of Holden's medical bills, which are reaching over $100 thousand. "Never a phone call. Never a letter to me saying we'll help with the expenses," says Peterson. "Whats' six figures to a company that makes millions and millions on a product that's sold worldwide?"

Now, Peterson wants to get the word out. "I want the public to know that there is a product out there dangerous, not only in the hands of children, but adults too." He hopes what happened to his child never happens to anyone else. "There's not a day that goes by that I'm not hugging Holden, and kissing her on the cheeks and the hands and the back and whatnot because I'm so thankful she's here."

Calahan filed a lawsuit on Peterson's behalf with the company. Arrow Plastic Manufacturing Co. was not available for comment.

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I agree, never leave a small child unsupervised with any food or liquid. Drinking should be done at a table, parents allowing children to walk around with food or drinks should be awarethat anything can happen. It is sad that this child had to suffer, but I do not see it is any fault of the manufacturer. I have had these cups in my home for a number of years and all my grandchildren have used them, at the table I might add

Spoon and toothbrush manufacturers aren't responsible for the many child deaths caused by those items either. It's just common sense to supervise a child when they handle all utensils.

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