Depending on your toddler’s personality, bathtime can either be a lot of fun and cuteness or the most extreme cardio workout you get all day. But one thing you never expect it to be is hazardous to your child’s health. You supervise them constantly, have the water heater set to a safe temperature, and use tear-free soap and shampoo. Safe as safe can be, right?

Maybe not.

One mom recently found out the hard way about an unusual bathtime danger. She is sharing her son’s story in the hopes that it won’t happen to another family.

Writer Eden Strong told the harrowing tale in a post on her Facebook page, first outlining that she knew the ultimate culprit—tub toys—could get dirty and gross and went out of her way t make sure they were bleached and cleaned regularly. But as she soon discovered, that wasn’t enough. She noticed after her nanny had given her son Baylor a bath that the tot’s eye was a little red.

“Baylor squirted himself in the eye with a tub toy,” the nanny explained. Strong dismissed it initially, but then noticed it was quite a bit redder at dinner. She sent her husband and son to a local urgent care center to have it checked out. They returned with the standard prescription eye drops for pink eye.

She figured he would be looking and feeling much better in the morning. She was wrong.

Strong says, “I wasn’t expecting to find him in his crib with an eye twice the size as it was when he went to bed, with redness spreading down his cheek.

A bit of an internet medical guru, I immediately wondered if he might be developing cellulitis, and so off to the ER we went. There, another doctor once again agreed with my diagnosis and wrote him a prescription for oral antibiotics, which we filled and gave him at 2:30 a.m.”

Once again, Strong expected her baby to be much better when he next woke. And once again things only got worse.

“When he woke up at 6 a.m. and I laid eyes on him in his crib, I screamed to my husband to get in the car, she says. “His eye was so swollen that the white part was bulging out from between his eyelid and his iris was being obscured. He felt hot to the touch and a temperature check showed that he had a raging fever.”

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At the hospital, doctors took one look at Baylor and started him on IV antibiotics. Just a few hours after he squirted himself in the eye with a bathtub toy, the little guy had severe cellulitis. It spread not only to his other eye but down his face. Doctors told his distraught parents that he was in danger of losing his eyesight.

Happily, after a very scary week, Baylor came through the ordeal with his eyesight intact. His parents came through it with a hindsight-fueled lesson about tub toys.

“But tub toys? THROW THEM OUT,” Strong says. “You cannot clean them, you just can’t. I don’t have any moldy tub toy pictures to show here, because there was never any visible mold to take a picture of. You can’t see bacteria and I’ve known that since 6th grade science class but I thought I was better than dirty tub toys. I was wrong.
So those tub toys? Just throw them out.”

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I don’t know about you, but I can barely look at the pictures of this poor sweet baby boy! Thank God he is now well! In his honor, I’ll be passing along the message his mom so desperately wants other parents to hear. I hope you will, too!

Jenny Rapson

Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.