A concerned grandmother is warning other parents about the serious dangers of the Play Skool Lullaby Gloworm after her grandson was severely burned by the seemingly innocent toy.
According to stuff.co.nz, Paulette Venables said her baby grandson, 5-month-old Elijah Venables-Earle, was snuggling up to the glowing plush toy when it suddenly began to heat up at an alarming rate.
The toy reportedly got so hot that it left red blisters all over Elijah’s neck and even singed a hole into the couch.
Although the toy did not actually burst into flames, Venables said the smoke from the burning plastic inside the Gloworm was enough to set off the fire alarm.
Venables said she is beyond grateful that Elijah wasn’t alone in his crib with the plush toy, which is advertised as "lighting up with a friendly, glowing face and soothing lullaby songs" when squeezed.
"It lit him up and it wasn't all that friendly," Venables said.
Since the incident, Elijah was rushed to the hospital to be treated, and he is now doing well.
After calling the Fire Service, Venables was told that she was lucky the toy didn’t actually catch fire.
"The Fire Service officer I showed it to said 'imagine if it was in his cot under blankets, the first you would have found out about it was when it caught fire,’" she said.
Venables also made sure to contact the store where she bought the toy to warn them about what happened.
Although images of the toy are reportedly still on the store’s website, a spokesperson assured Venables that nobody would be able to purchase one until they got to the bottom of what happened.
"However, we are confident had anyone attempted to purchase the item from The Warehouse, they would not have been able to," a staff member at The Warehouse said.
Meanwhile, Hasbro, the company that makes the Gloworm toy, has launched its own investigation.
"We take these matter very seriously and the safety of our customers is paramount," the spokesperson said.
Several commenters on stuff.co.nz suggested that the problem may stem from the battery inside the Gloworm, not the toy itself.
“I once had a standard energizer battery overheat in a computer mouse. It was so hot i could barely touch it to get it out. It was a fault with the battery not the mouse. The plastic melted. Thinking back i should have taken that battery back to the supermarket. It must have had an internal short or something,” one commenter wrote.
“Surely it's a battery issue? These toys have been around for decades. Cheap batteries (and name brand ones too) can overheat if they're faulty,” another added.