July 14, 2017 4:43 pm
Updated: July 14, 2017 7:35 pm

Alberta mom warns of metal BBQ brush dangers after boy ends up in hospital

WATCH ABOVE: A Whitecourt, Alta. mom is warning others about a terrifying situation involving her four-year-old son. He was rushed to Edmonton's Stollery Children's Hospital after a metal wire got stuck in his throat. Kim Smith explains.


A mother in Whitecourt, Alta. is speaking out about a terrifying situation after a bristle from a metal barbecue brush became lodged in her four-year-old’s throat.

Jenna Kuchik said her son Oliver was rushed to Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital earlier this month after the family was eating chicken.

“He started to cry really loudly and hysterically that he had something in his throat,” Kuchik said on Friday. “He said, ‘Get it out. It hurts.’

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“He kept pointing right here (at his throat).

“He couldn’t swallow or spit. Kept gagging.”

Kuchik immediately took her son to the hospital in Whitecourt where an X-ray confirmed he had a 1.5-centimetre metal bristle stuck in his throat. Her fiancé checked the other pieces of meat and found another bristle in another piece of chicken.

“Lucky, well not lucky, that we found another bristle in another chicken because it was a pretty good indication at that point what was going on with him, and then it was easy for the doctors to do the X-ray, suspecting that’s what it was,” Kuchik said.

READ MORE: Wire BBQ brushes pose hazard if not regularly replaced

Watch below: On May 9, 2013, Sean O’Shea filed this report about the importance of being careful with the brush you use to clean your grill. If it’s old or frayed, it could you could end up taking a bite out of bristle.

Doctors in Whitecourt gave Oliver a steroid to reduce the swelling in his throat and help him swallow. He was taken by ambulance to the Stollery Children’s Hospital for an operation to have it removed.

“He’s just so little and the bristle was a centimetre and a half, so that’s huge for his little throat. It was awful,” Kuchik said.

She said the operation was quick and by the next day, Oliver was feeling better.

“It could have ended so much worse than what it did for us,” Kuchik said.

View a photo gallery of Oliver recovering below:

Dr. Louis Francescutti, an Edmonton emergency room physician, agreed that Oliver’s story could have ended much worse.

“What happens with these bristles is if they perforate the small intestine or the large intestine, then bacterial contents get into your abdominal cavity,” Francescutti said.

“It’s the equivalent of taking a sewing needle and having someone eat a sewing needle. Imagine the sewing needle going through the intestines.”

Kuchik hopes other families will learn from the ordeal.

“You don’t think anything like this is going to happen to you or your family. We read the article. We bought a different barbecue brush – intending to use it – and it was like, ‘Oh, it’s downstairs’ or, ‘Oh, it’s in the package.’ You just don’t make it a priority.”

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