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NEW: News story on CBC (Canada) news show "Marketplace" about Justin Maracle and his severe brain injury due to an unsafe hook. According to his mother "It went into him like a butter knife. It entered over the right eye, right through his skull and into his brain." I had a hard time typing that sentence as it strikes so close to home; I hadn't thought about it that way before, but if fairly accurately describes the injury Madison sustained.

As seen on on December 5, 2002. Click here to see video clips of the newscast.

Maddie at Blossum Music Center with bandage

On July 7th, 2002, my 2 year old daughter, Madison, was shopping with her dad at a nearby store when she fell on a pegboard hook. This hook punctured a hole in her skull and entered her brain over an inch and a half. She spent 2 nights in the PICU and 3 days total in the hospital. Several CAT scans and an MRI were performed. She was put to sleep for the MRI so that she would remain still for the test. She was hooked up to a heart monitor, a blood pressure cuff, blood oxygen monitor, and an IV. The doctors would not stitch her head because there was a possibility that they would have to operate to relieve the pressure from the brain bleed. Madison was listless and slept a lot. She vomited for 2 days. When she was released she was instructed to be very careful to avoid any further damage to her head. For one month from the date of the accident, she could not ride her bike, go swimming, go to the park or run around with her brother in the house. This was very difficult for her to understand. We were not sure of how things would turn out, but to date Madison is physically healthy despite the damage to her brain. Madison remembers what happened and remembers being in the hospital; she still suffers from the trauma. When she hits her head at all she gets very upset and there are times her and her twin brother Max will "talk" about the incident. I believe this will be one of her very first memories of childhood.

My goal is to get as many stores as possible to change their hooks. Even though some stores are aware that they are dangerous, they choose not to pay the price to replace them. It has recently been brought to my attention that a child has lost sight in one eye and another is permanently brain damaged from these hooks. Both of these cases occurred at a major US retail chain. Please act on this now before another child is seriously injured or killed. Dr. McRae, whose 18month old was injured 10 years ago by one of these hooks, has been working on this same goal in Canada with some success. He was able to get Gap to change their hooks world wide.

Below is a list of stores that have the hooks and have been notified by me of their dangers. Another list shows those stores that use the safer hooks. At one of these stores (Babies R Us), I was told that they are supposed to use the safe hooks BUT they ran out so on their safety rounder were all the unsafe hooks!

Straight (unsafe) hook

Safe hook

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