Marley Oster is lucky to have Madison as her friend. Not only because the girls get along so well, but also because the 8-year-old saved Marley's life. When Marley went for one last ride down a school slide during recess, the safety clip on the hat she was wearing got stuck and the string nearly strangled the child. Her mom, Gail, explained that as the hat got caught, her child kept sliding and it pulled her neck back into a "strangulation position," leaving the 6-year-old hanging and unable free herself.
Madison climbed down the slide and worked to free her friend, but because the plastic clip was jammed in a crack, it took time. Marley was rushed to the doctor and left with rope burn across her neck. According to Gail, her doctor let them know that if Marley had been stuck for 45 seconds longer, her windpipe could have collapsed. She also could've broken her neck if another kid had gone down the slide immediately after her.
"Please all parents either check your child's hat that the clip releases under pressure or cut the cord completely off the hat," Gail pleaded on Facebook along with raw photos of Marley's injuries.
This is not the first local schoolyard strangulation, so as a result, public schools in South Australia have mandated that cords and straps from hats and hoodies be removed. Gail had just purchased this hat for Marley and wants other parents to realize that a plastic clip isn't enough to keep their kids safe.
"I bought it on Wednesday, I had it on her head on Thursday, and even now if you try to unclip the hat it's very hard, it doesn't unclip," she told the Daily Mail. "It's not an isolated incident. A lot of parents have said these hats have done this kind of damage."
Although the school district's ban against strings on the playground is a step in the right direction, Gail wants all drawstrings to be forbidden. "No cords and no clips, it's a hazard. Thankfully, the parents that have been affected with these hats, we've been able to take our kids home. But one day that won't happen," she said. "There will be a child that dies, there will be a family that gets that phone call."