Baby hurt by prickly object in cotton wool

PHOTO: Baby hurt by prickly object in cotton wool

SINGAPORE - She was giving her five-month-old son a wipe-down with a piece of cotton wool at her condominium in Paya Lebar last Wednesday when he suddenly started screaming in pain.

When she took a closer look, Ms Isabel Fernandez, 40, was horrified to find a 2cm-long needle-like object tucked inside the piece of cotton wool.

It left her son with light scratches on his lower abdomen and Ms Fernandez quickly applied alcohol on them but did not take him to a doctor as the cuts were not deep.

The first-time mother said: "Imagine the damage I could have caused to my baby if I had used it on his face or eyes."

To her surprise, she discovered four other similar metallic objects inside the 300g roll of cotton wool, which she had bought from Kiddy Palace at Parkway Parade.

The cotton-wool roll was made by Singapore baby-product company Tollyjoy and Ms Fernandez bought it two to three weeks ago.

The director of an online travel agency, who is from Spain, said that this was the first time she had encountered such a situation.

She immediately contacted Kiddy Palace and Tollyjoy via e-mail but has heard only from Tollyjoy.

Tollyjoy's sales and marketing manager, Ms Irene Yeo, told My Paper that all of its cotton-wool rolls were recalled immediately last Wednesday. The affected batch of rolls has been sent to the company's third-party contract manufacturer in Malaysia for "metal-detection tests".

She said: "The test results have so far indicated that there are no problems."

She added that Tollyjoy views the matter seriously and will continue to strengthen its quality inspections with its third-party contract manufacturers to ensure that "the product meets or exceeds consumers' expectations".

Tollyjoy has apologised to Ms Fernandez and offered other products of a similar $3 value to her as a form of compensation but she was not appeased.

She told My Paper: "Singapore is known for safety all over the world. And (this incident) does not support the strict control and safety this product should have."

When contacted, the Health Sciences Authority said that it is investigating the case and "will work closely with the company to ensure public health and safety".

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