WESTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A glass shower door shattered into pieces as a three-year-old child took a bath, covering the boy in glass from head to toe.
The day after Thanksgiving, 3-year-old Cole walked into the tub with his dad by his side.
“All of a sudden I heard, ‘I need help! I need help!,'” described Cole’s mom, Abby Wilk.
Wilk ran into the bathroom and found the glass shower door had fell on her husband and son.
“There was blood everywhere. My husband was bleeding; my son was bleeding,” Wilk explained.
Glass severed a chunk of her husband’s pinky from his right hand.
“It also landed on me,” Cole said. “All over my body.”
Wilk said Cole went to rub his eyes, leading her to realize that there was a visible shard on his eyelid. Her mother-in-law also found a shard in his right ear.
They rushed Cole and his father to the hospital and were stunned by what they were told.
“Newton-Wellesley, when we checked in, they said we see this all the time,” Wilk said.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over a four-year period, there were 2,300 emergency room visits because of shattering glass shower doors.
“We take a look at the skin and try to dust off as much as we can and we will pick the pieces out that we need to,” explained Dr. Mark Waltzman of the Boston Children’s Hospital. “If the child is in a bathtub, obviously we’re going to look everywhere – from the scalp; all the way to between the toe nails.”
Most injuries resulting from these types of incidents are cuts because the government mandates that glass shower doors use tempered glass, or safety glass, so when or if it shatters, it breaks into tiny pieces the size of pebbles.
Glass experts say tempered glass is so strong, you can take a hammer to the middle of it and it won’t break. However, if there is an imperfection in the glass – often too small for the eye to see – it can break.
“Sometimes if somebody hits the edge of it and it chips, it is liable to break at anytime and it will just blow up,” said Stephen Libman of the Alliance Glass Company.
Libman added that this happens about one percent of the time, according to the manufacturer.
If this does happen, there is nothing that can be done to protect yourself.
“If there’s a defect in the glass that you can’t necessarily see, the temperature difference between the inside the door from the hot water/steam compared to the cold outside of the door is going to cause the glass to sheer,” said Waltzman.
The Wilk family does not know what caused their shower door to break but luckily for Cole, he didn’t need stitches for his cuts.
“I still have bandaids on top of it so we can not see all of the boo boos,” Cole said.
His mom said this broken glass shattered more than just their shower door.
“I thought I was buying a safe product for my home and my family,” said Wilk. “I want people to know the danger they’re putting in their house unbeknownst to them. This could happen to anybody.”
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