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Popular Children’s Bracelet Concerns Parents

By Ginger Allen, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Many North Texas children are banding together to see and be seen with the latest shape wrapped around their wrist. Specially-shaped bracelets are gaining prominence in American elementary schools. They’re shaped like animals, objects, numbers and more, and are often traded and showed off among children and their friends.

However, this trend has taken some North Texas families by surprise.

“It had been cutting off the circulation,” said mother Gina Corwin,” He couldn’t tell me what was wrong, but he was saying, ‘off, off, off.’”

Corwin, a mother of ten children, said she rarely panics, but knew something was wrong then. Her two-and-a-half year old son Huck Corwin slept with about 20 of the shaped rubber bands wrapped around his wrist. Corwin said when he woke up, his once-tiny hand was swollen and blue.

She quickly peeled the bands off his arm, finding some of the tightest were embedded in his wrist.

“It looked like he’d cut his wrist with a knife and he was bleeding,” Corwin said. “It was pretty bad.”

Weeks after the incident, Huck still remembers what happened. He and his older brother Finn played with the bands while CBS 11’s cameras were rolling.

Finn tried to put some bands on his brother’s wrist, which still had a small white scar from the cut.

“No, no, my boo-boo,” Huck told his brother, jerking his hand away from the bands.

He then asked Finn to put the bands on his other hand.

Dr. Linley McAnalley, a family friend, saw Huck’s hand and said he was lucky his mother pulled the bands off.

“The bands, if they’re worn too tight for too long, can create a tourniquet type effect and can interfere with the blood flow into and out of the hand,” McAnalley said. “The blood gets stagnant in the hand; blood clots can form.”

This is a scare 8-year-old Chris Palmier knows all too well. Chris also slept in too many tight bands. His mother, Donnita Palmier, said she was taking him to school when she looked down at his hand.

“It was monstrous! It was huge,” she said. “It was like, from a freak show! It was five times bigger than the other hand.”

A doctor told the family to watch the hand for three days and come in if the swelling remained. On the fourth day, the blood flow returned.

“At some point, there is going to be a horrible story about a child that wasn’t discovered soon enough,” Palmier said.

Palmier is one of seven nationwide who has filed complaints with the Consumer Product Safety Commission reporting similar problems involving the tight rubber bands.

“It’s something parents need to be aware of,” said Dr. Craig Huant, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern. “Best case scenario would be there is temporary discomfort, swelling, and you keep the part elevated. Worst case scenario, you get a lack of blood flow, lack of oxygen to tissues and you lose a finger or a hand.”

An online search shows many blog entries and forum posts from parents expressing concern about the shaped bands. YouTube videos show disc jockeys seeing how many they can put on their arm before their circulation is cut off.

In a statement, the president of Sillybandz, the first company to make the products, defended his business, saying that many “knockoffs” are what cause circulation issues.

“Sillybandz have been out for almost three years now, and to date we have never received a complaint about the quality or safety of our product, however we have heard of many complaints revolving around the knockoffs,” wrote Robert Croak in a statement. “Unfortunately, the knockoffs do not make any effort to use real silicone or even size the bands correctly.”

The website’s blog reads, “If you wrap anything too tight around your arm it will cut off circulation.” The post says that Silly Bandz are meant to “wear very big like a bracelet.”

“Who is going to go online and look this up,” Palmier asked. “I just want people to know and check. You have to know things can go wrong with them.”

  • Big Will

    Where is the parental responsibility? Come on folks! What intelligent parent wold allow they child to sleep in these things?!? Also. it is pretty easy to see if these bands are too tight. Wake up and take responsibility for own parenting.

    • Classy Me

      I’m with you Big Will…….why would you let a child, especially one his age put as many as 20 bands on his wrist and sleep in them. WHen thing are usually to tight …most people take them off….not continue to wear them. It’s call COMMON SENSE……..wake up PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nick

    Child on news was not even 3, since when do we let children that age play with rubber bands?

  • al

    These parents are all morons, what is a 2yr old doing wearing a bracelet meant for some one older than that? As parents YOU are ultimately responsible for your children till they are of legal age. You bought them the bracelets, you let them go to sleep with them on. This is your fault that your child was injured. This is what is wrong with kids today they’re parents are too stupid to reign in their kids and say NO. Two letters..watch..N..O. No, learn it and quit trying to blame someone else for your poor judgement and lack of parenting.

  • John S

    That was such a lame report. CBS 11 should be smarter than try to make this a story. Karen and Ginger are smarter moms than this to play along with such stupidity. Wake up parents and CBS 11, use some common sense!

  • walt_tx

    Yes, this was a lame story. It pretends to be about a dangerous toy, but in fact it should have been about negligent parents who don’t supervise their kids. C’mon Ginger, you can do better than that!

  • melissa

    these are a stupid toy anyway. my kids are not allowed to have them. they are not just dangerous to kids, but to pets as well. if your child drops one or leaves it lying around, kitty/puppy decides that it’s a great toy, chases it, chews it up, swallows it, next thing you know, you have a trip to the vet on your hands and you pet may not survive. i don’t care what shape it is, it is still a rubber band. for god’s sake, buy your kid a real toy!

  • Amy M.

    I have to agree with everyone else. The packages I have clearly say 3+ years. My daughter is 3 1/2 and has a couple of them but has never worn them to bed. Why would you let your child sleep with 20 of anything on their wrist? My 6 yr old wears them but I don’t allow more than 5-6 at a time. Why? Because I noticed that when you layer dozens of these things on that they bunch up & twist around each other getting much tighter than when originally put on. Here’s a thought: maybe look at what your kids are interested in every once in a while instead of blaming others for your lack of responsibility.

  • BAB

    This story really upsets me. Instead of blaming a company for a parent‘s negligence why doesn’t somebody report the parents to child protective services. If the toy package says 3+ years and a 2 ½ year old is playing with them apparently unsupervised then there is some parental negligence going on. If a child’s circulation is being cut off by the toy unnoticed by the parent then there is some parental negligence. If a parent has 10 children and cannot properly take care of all of them allowing even just one to get hurt by not taking the proper precautions with the use of such a toy then there is parental negligence. Clearly these folks have no business being parents…a rubber band is just like a plastic bag…it is not a toy and certainly not one to let your child sleep with! I would love to tell these people face to face what I think about them.

  • Cheryl Scott

    I am appalled at the stupidity of today’s parents! I find it hard to believe that a 2-year-old told his Mom he wanted these things — and even more so that a parent would supply them and then allow a toddler to put a rubber band on his arm. And sleep in them! The mother should be investigated for child endangerment. Can you imagine the other stupid and dangerous behaviors she encourages? Does no one have common sense anymore?

  • Sharon Mayeux

    I am 54 years old and I can still remember being a child in elementary school and being bored to death and finding a red rubberband (that was the only option way back then) and wrapping it as many times as I could around my finger. Duh….my finger turned purple and felt dead cold to the touch. I took it off. However, I feel like this is a parent’s responsibility to assure the safety of their children against decorative and appealing rubberbands to their children. So do not buy them, parents! Are you trying to tell me that parents do not know what rubber bands wound around parts of the body will do??? and yet they buy them. I have been in the store many times and upon check out waited for a parent to pick out the rubber band novelties for their young child. I think it is a parental competency issue that a child that is as young as those in this newscast even have access to the things!! I might have put my two year old to bed and left the room while he was awake, but I durn sure returned when he was asleep and checked his overall safety..every night! I say if a mom or dad even let these items in the vicinity of a two (2) year old child…they shouldn’t have a two (2) year old child! However…thank you CBS 11 for a safety awakening. Maybe some of the intelligent parents can question the unintelligent parents at the checkout line that are buying rubber bands for children too young to have them.

  • Erin

    Seriously? Are you serious?
    Yes, any band-like piece of rubber will cut off circulation if it’s double-wrapped around your wrist multiple times, which is how these bands AREN’T supposed to be worn. I’m in college, and people everywhere have them on, even all the way to the 5 and 8 year old I babysit. They go over your wrist once, and they hang there comfortably. I don’t know why I’m even explaining this on a news website. But I saw the commercial preview for this story, and the only thing that went through my mind was this:

    And that’s exactly what this ridiculous news station did.
    No wonder most people my age don’t watch the news…because it’s getting stupid.

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