Ok. I normally would put something like this in my private, personal journal,...but, the more I think about it, the more I think it should go here.
P4 is a huge "Thomas" the tank engine fan. He plays with the engines, cars, and tracks every day. And, he's quite fond of re-configuring the track. At some point, someone bought him a box of the "cheap track" that Target carries. It's different from the R2 (Thomas) track in that it has a "ball-joint" set-up for joining pieces of track together. By comparison, the R2 track fits together like a puzzle. So...Owen (P4) was building a new track and he decided that the track fit on his fingers. He was putting it on and spinning it like a New Year's noise-maker. However, somehow, his finger got stuck. I mean REALLY stuck. It wasn't hurting him, but it wasn't coming off. I tried everything I could think of to get it to come off (olive oil, baby oil, petroleum jelly, ice,...). And, about five minutes after we took THIS picture...
...his finger turned purple.
We got a craft saw out of the garage and he FLIPPED OUT!
In the end, I called the fire department. I was really concerned that if I left it on, the time it took to get to an ER and get triaged, he was going to have serious circulatory damage to the finger. And, it was swelling...meaning, it was becoming more stuck with each minute.
When the firemen got here, the medic scanned the room and said, without even looking at Owen, "Is it the Target track?"
Apparently, this is a known problem. He said he'd seen four, three-year-old boys with this exact same issue in the last six months. I told him it was and he said, "It's never the R2 stuff...only the cheapy stuff." In one case, a child had to have surgery to decompartmentalize the tissue that had been damaged!
They used some sort of EKG transduction gel (and two grown men manipulating the track) to get it off. It was a ten minute job. Oy!
This is not what you want to see in front of your house as a result of playing with a toy!
I called the company who manufactures the track. I never got a return call.
So, I want to warn all the parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents out there: be careful with this track. I know it is tempting to buy the cheapy stuff. But, unless you want to have this experience, I'd shy away from it. If you see your little one sticking fingers in the end (which is tempting), intervene. I'm throwing all of our cheap track away.