May 15, 2013 5:17 pm

Parents call for change after product sample nearly kills toddler

CALGARY- Safety concerns are being raised about the product samples delivered to homes, after one nearly killed a young girl.

Last week, a bag containing a Sunlight laundry pod sample was delivered to the Lee family’s front door. The mother brought it inside and left it on a shelf, but later that day her 21-month-old daughter Avery pulled the bag down, causing it to break open.

“It ripped open…and of course the little packages look like candy, so she ate it,” explains her father, Tom Lee.

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Avery started vomiting uncontrollably and couldn’t breathe.

“She was having a hard time breathing to the point…where it’s really high pitched and it’s really worked breathing,” remembers Becky Lee. “I was holding her and she was limp.”

The toddler was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit, and spent six days in hospital attached to feeding tubes and a respirator. She has since recovered.

While the Lees realize they should have put the bag out of reach, they’re upset that Sunlight would deliver chemicals to their home that weren’t in child-proof packaging.

“If we’re going to be having these products distributed to our houses and we didn’t even ask for the products, I think it should be child proof and safe,” says Tom.

The Lees contacted Sun Products, which makes Sunlight detergent. The company offered to cover Avery’s ambulance bill—but Tom says that’s not good enough.

“None of this is about money,” he says. “It’s about what they’ve done to our daughter, and we thought we were going to lose her.”

Sun Products tells Global News that they take consumer safety very seriously and are very sorry about this incident, saying in a statement:

“We have a series of similar sample mailing programs scheduled for the rest of this year but until we fully understand the circumstances around this situation, no further distributions will be made.”

They are now working with their Canadian distributor to look at the sample packaging, and review how this happened.

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