Goonellabah toddler Toby Davies, with parents Helen and Peter and baby brother Ethen, was rushed to hospital after consuming some of the liquid from the Magic Rocks toy kit.
Goonellabah toddler Toby Davies, with parents Helen and Peter and baby brother Ethen, was rushed to hospital after consuming some of the liquid from the Magic Rocks toy kit. Cathy Adams

Warning after toddler chokes on toy

GOONELLABAH mother Helen Davey nearly lost her baby boy when he swallowed deadly liquid from a child's toy.

Now, concerned it could happen to other parents, she is calling for clearer warnings to be placed on toys.

The ordeal began late on Tuesday afternoon when Ms Davey's seven-year-old daughter, Jasmine, was playing in the family home with a Magic Rocks kit.

The kit, which uses liquid sodium silicate to grow crystals, was laid out on the floor and Jasmine left the room to use the toilet.

Ms Davey was in the kitchen making dinner when her two-year-old son Toby came in screaming and coughing, like he was choking.

She smelt his breath and it was the same smell of the liquid used in the Magic Rocks.

"He was screaming and screaming," Ms Davey said.

Her husband, Peter Davies, stuck his finger down Toby's throat to make him throw it up.

The poison hotline number on the box did not answer, as the centre is only open from 9am to 5pm.

Ms Davey rang the ambulance, which arrived soon after to rush Toby to Lismore Base Hospital.

In the short time it took for the ambulance to get to the house, Toby went limp and couldn't stand up. His airway and lip were swollen and blistered. After he was flown by rescue helicopter to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane with burns to his oesophagus, Ms Davey learnt the mixture could have killed him.

"Only that Peter made him vomit most of it up, it would have eaten through his oesophagus and stomach," she said. "It had a warning saying skin and eye irritant, harmful if swallowed. I've found out it can be deadly if swallowed."

Now out of hospital, and receiving treatment for his burns, Toby faces a month on medication and a liquid diet.

Ms Davey said she was still in shock that a toy could cause so much pain and anguish.

The toy has been reported to the NSW Department of Fair Trading, but Ms Davey has put her own plea out to parents to be careful about what toys they bring into their homes.

"If they do buy it, keep it somewhere high," she said.

According to Wikipedia, a typical package of Magic Rocks contains liquid sodium silicate and a handful of coloured 'rocks' that are actually chunks of water-soluble metallic salts. They were invented by two brothers, James and Arthur Ingoldbsy, in the Los Angeles area in 1940. Currently, Magic Rocks are being manufactured in the US by James's son, Rick Ingoldsby.


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