Mar 3, 2011 1:07 AM by Danielle Lerner
An Atascadero mother has a warning for other parents after her son chokes on a dental mirror he got at school.
Three-year-old Jeffrey Banta and his 5-year-old brother attend Little Lambs Preschool in Atascadero. A dentist visited the school Tuesday as part of dental hygiene month and distributed bags with a toothbrush, a timer and a dental mirror inside.
On Tuesday night the mirror popped out inside Jeffrey's mouth, causing him to choke. Now his mother is on a mission to keep that from happening to other kids.
"It was the scariest thing I've ever been through, it truly was to see my child so helpless," said Jacqui Banta.
It was this mother of three's worst fear from true. Her 3-year-old son Jeffrey was choking and time was running out.
"At that point I just knew whatever it was I just had to get it out," Banta said.
So she started hitting Jeffrey's back and when that did not work she did the heimlich maneuver, finally forcing a small dental mirror out of his throat and into his hand.
"He started vomiting afterwards and I literally laid down on the floor with him and just bawled my eyes out," said Banta.
Banta showed KSBY News just how easy it is to pop the mirror out of the device, and she says the packaging had no warnings or age recommendations.
Paradise Dental Supplies manufactures and distributes the device to dentists across the country. It is actually meant for kids ages 13 and up who use it to check their braces.
In a written statement the President of the company, John Tapocik, said, "We have taken this situation very seriously and we do intend to contact various dental associations throughout the nation to make them aware of the hazard of this device. We plan to follow through with any measures necessary to prevent this situation in the future."
Banta just hopes that will be enough.
"I know that these were distributed throughout many schools and I know that kids have them right now," she said.
Pediatric Dentistry of Atascadero handed out the bags. Banta says it immediately contacted all of the schools that received the bags and pulled the product from its shelves after hearing what happened.
The FDA does not have the mirror on its list of recalled items but it is encouraging people to report any problems on the organization's web site.
You can find a link in the Newslinks section of ksby.com.
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