An eight-month-old baby put a caterpillar in her mouth and was rushed to the hospital. The Nanaimo mother didn’t know what was wrong with the baby (Kenzie) but something black oozed from her mouth. The baby wouldn’t stop crying, so she went to the emergency, fearing the worst.
Krystal Pavan wrote last Thursday on Facebook about her experience, warning parents to keep their children away from insects:
“My daughter was sitting eating an arrowroot cookie and had just finished it when all of the sudden she started screaming. It was about time for her morning nap and I figured she must just be hungry and/or tired so I made her a bottle. She didn’t want anything to do with it and she was basically inconsolable at this point.”
‘Blackness’ Inside the Baby’s Mouth
Then, as Pavan tried to figure out what was wrong with her daughter, the baby “had her mouth open while crying and I noticed the inside of her mouth had some blackness to it.”
The mother wiped the blackness out of her baby’s mouth, but it was in vain. She believed it might have been an electrical burn, so she rushed to the hospital.
However, she discovered after talking to a nurse that it happened to her daughter one day:
“A nurse started talking to me saying how her daughter one day was sitting on her stairs sucking on something and she had black all around her mouth. Well turns out she was sucking on a caterpillar.”
After the doctor checked the child, he concluded that it was indeed a caterpillar. It latched itself onto the baby’s tongue and cheeks. Pavan continued updating her social media network by relaying the doctor’s diagnose:
“All the hairs are stuck to her tongue and the tentacles are fused to her cheek.”
Pavan was sent to Victoria by ambulance, as the baby needed to be sedated to remove all the pieces of caterpillar from her mouth.
The last news on Kenzie was that she did well in surgery and 98% of the tentacles have been removed. According to doctors, her case is very rare, but they advise parents to supervise their children in the outdoors and be on the lookout for bugs, insects and other creatures.
Paul Hasselback, the Vancouver Island chief medical health officer stated:
“We do have insects, bugs, even plants that may have poisonous venom that can cause irritations or some reactions in our bodies and it’s important to be aware of them. Especially with children, being aware that children can come into contact with unusual things in their environment. Most of them will be safe but some of them will not.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.