Mom Warns Parents After 6-Year-Old Nearly Hangs Herself at the Playground

Australian mom Gail Oster shares horrifying story of 6-year-old daughter almost choking to death on the playground because of her school hat
Gail Oster/Facebook

There are certain tragedies that are so terrifying, no parent ever wants to imagine they could happen to their child. Sadly, unforeseeable accidents do happen, which is why we should all stop and listen to this mom's cautionary tale. Gail Oster is an Australian mom who's warning parents about an unthinkable danger after her 6-year-old daughter's school hat nearly suffocated her to death on the playground.


Marley Oster is lucky to be alive today, and of course, she's still shaken up over the incident that's leaving so many parents speechless. Her mom wants other parents to know about the potential dangers of hats with safety clips that are supposed to release under pressure. Marley's school hat got caught on a playground slide and actually began strangling the 6-year-old -- giving this sweet little one red marks along her neck.

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"The hat actually got wedged in the side of the slide," Oster told 9 News Adelaide. "She was stuck with her neck to one angle being held back -- virtually strangled."

Marley was unable to free herself, but luckily her 8-year-old friend Madison stepped in before it was too late. 

This photo is truly disturbing ...

girl almost strangled by her hat
Gail Oster/Facebook

Since the incident, Gail has taken to Facebook asking parents to reconsider hats with safety clips in an effort to prevent this inconceivable accident from happening to another child.

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"My daughter today was hung by her own hat on the slide at school," Oster wrote on Facebook. She continued:

It was a school hat with a QUICK/SAFETY RELEASE CLIP that was suppose to open under pressure, this didn't happen. Please all parents either check your child's hat that the clip releases under pressure or cut the cord completely off the hat ...

girl almost being strangled to death because of hat
Gail Oster/Facebook

Marley is currently taking antibiotics and using a scar cream to heal her wounds. In response to this incident, 9 News Adelaide reports public schools across South Australia have banned hats with cords, which is certainly a step in the right direction.

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I'm not gonna lie, it was hard for me to look at photos of Marley and her red ligature marks. I can't imagine the horror this child must have felt essentially being trapped -- helpless -- on the slide. Thank goodness her friend Madison was there to help, and thank goodness she was able to free Marley in time.

Though my 3- and 1½-year-old boys only wear hats with Velcro on the back, I hear Gail's caution to parents loud and clear -- and I try my best to look out for ordinary items that could be a potential threat to my children. I know it's a tall order, but I have to try. Bad things can happen in an instant -- that's one of the toughest parts of being a parent.

My thoughts are with this sweet little girl and other children who've suffered similar experiences.

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