A 3-year-old boy wound up sustaining serious injuries after swallowing a souvenir penny he got at the Bronx Zoo -- and now his parents are suing the park for "unspecified damages."
While visiting the zoo last summer, Ethan Yi was handed the penny as part of a promotion for the Dinosaur Safari exhibit. A coin was given to every family member in attendance, but after Ethan received his, he ate it. (Because he's a little kid and sometimes little kids eat things they're not supposed to.)
At the hospital, his parents were told the penny would pass through his system in a few days, but it never happened. He wound up having surgery to get the coin out, which cut his stomach since it had a jagged edge.
And since his parents do not have insurance, they were left with over $50,000 in medical bills.
So again, they're suing the zoo.
And let me add that Ethan's mom has pointed out that "there was no warning about dangers of swallowing the coins."
Let me start off by saying I totally understand why this family is upset, considering the ordeal their little boy went through. But I'm just not convinced the zoo is to blame here -- because, again, kids tend to put things in their mouths. And that's why as parents, we have to watch them when they have small objects in their hands to make sure they don't wind up trying to eat them.
I know we can't have our eyes on them every single second -- but especially in situations when we're out in public, we have to do our best to keep ourselves focused on whatever they happen to be doing.
And even though a zoo employee handed this little boy the coin, is it really his/her fault that the child proceeded to swallow it? It sounds to me like these parents are just incredibly traumatized and are looking for someone to blame instead of calling this situation what it is -- a very unfortunate accident that could have happened to anyone.
What do you think? Is the zoo responsible for Ethan swallowing the coin?
Image via ikrichter/Flickr