Toddler Should Not Have Choked on a Pushpin at School

Sending a child to school is a nerve-wracking prospect. Trusting anyone with the most precious person in your life is a tall order, but we have to believe that the schools have our children's best interests at heart and that they will do even more to protect them there than we do at home. After all, it's their good name on the line if anything happens to our babies.

So when a 3-year-old chokes on a pushpin at school, there is no one really to blame except the school. It's a tragic story from San Diego, and while I understand the mother's position that it could have happened anywhere and the school was always safe before, the fact remains: Somehow this tiny boy got ahold of a pushpin and swallowed it while on the school's time.

She says people should feel safe sending their children there, but would you? Personally, I would never.


School have bulletin boards, but they use special staples that seem much safer than pushpins. Yes, accidents happen, but they shouldn't happen in a room full of toddlers. And if they do? Then it's carelessness.

Perhaps the mother doesn't want to pass blame. After all, nothing can bring her son back, and it's hard to even imagine what that must feel like. Certainly all of our hearts go out to her. Anger won't change what happened.

On the other hand, the school was negligent. Somehow a child far too young to be playing with a pushpin got one and put it in his mouth.

The teachers did all the right things -- they saw him choking, they gave him CPR, they called 9-1-1. Certainly, that part makes them look good.

But what was a pushpin doing at the school? Why and how did a little boy get ahold of one? Yes, it's a tragic accident, but it's one that could have been prevented and the school is largely responsible for the items that can be found there. If it isn't toddler-safe, then it shouldn't be at the school at all.

This little boy wasn't being properly protected and the results were tragic. If it happened in a home, then OK. Baby proofing isn't foolproof. But at a school, vigilance is especially important. Something went wrong and it shouldn't have.

Do you think the school is to blame?


Image via hydropeek/Flickr

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