A MUM has issued a heartbreaking warning after her son almost “hung himself” on a totem tennis set by accident.
Lauren Morabito, 39, from Victoria, Australia, watched in horror as her three-year-old son Jesse got caught up in string attached to the tennis ball.
The mum’s teenage stepsons had stumbled upon their old tennis set a few weeks earlier and the family had enjoyed rediscovering the game which involves hitting the ball back at forth as it swings around the pole.
However, this innocent bit of fun turned into a mother’s worst nightmare when the string attached to the tennis ball wrapped around her son’s neck.
She told Kidspot: “Jesse and I were playing together and I was hitting it gently. He often missed, so would run to catch it with his hands.”
It was while Jesse went to capture the ball that it “circled his neck and hooked onto the rope.”
The mum added: “He went to run away and it pulled him and he fell back.”
It was at this point that Jess landed on his knees – but the rope was so tight around his neck that he couldn’t touch the ground with his hands.
Lauren said: “He basically hung himself. He wasn’t crying, just silent from the shock of it.”
Fortunately, Lauren stepped in quickly and calmly started to unwrap the string.
Even though the incident only lasted a few seconds, it was bad enough to burn the skin and left Jesse bleeding.
Understandably shaken by the experience, Lauren then posted a warning on the Facebook page Tiny Hearts Education where other parents recounted similar incidents.
One replied: “This also happened to my daughter when she was about six but with the one with a small soccer ball attached to it. My son had kicked it and she was in the way and it went around her neck.
“I have never cut something up so quick and put in the bin! I will never buy another one or a tennis one either.”
Although Lauren wanted to bin the toy immediately after it happened, Jesse begged her to keep it and so she removed the rope while deciding how best to proceed.
She said: “I just hope that our experience teaches others to use it correctly and always under adult supervision. This could have been really bad.
“It’s potentially fatal but at the same time, there are so many activities that can end badly and we can’t stop doing everything.”
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