• The child vomited blood after the 6.5-inch brush got lodged in his throat 
  • Doctors used a pair of forceps to remove the brush from his esophagus 
  • The child suffered abrasions along the back wall of his throat and esophagus

A maid has been jailed for leaving a 2-year-old boy unattended while he brushed his teeth, causing the toothbrush to get lodged in his esophagus.

A Singapore court sentenced 24-year-old Myanmar national Chi Nar Paw Tan to eight weeks in prison after she pled guilty to causing harm to the child by performing a negligent act, The Straits Times reported.

The incident happened on Dec. 27, 2020. The maid was brushing the teeth of her employer's son when she momentarily turned away. The 5.9-in (15-cm) long toothbrush got lodged in the child's throat, causing him to cry and vomit blood.

He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors had to use a pair of strong forceps to remove the toothbrush from his esophagus.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Ong told the court that Paw Tan, who was with the family for four years, was bathing the victim when the incident happened.

"The accused soaped the victim's body with her right hand and held the victim's toothbrush with her left hand. The accused then turned her back on the victim and left the victim unattended to find the showerhead. In doing so, the accused left the loose toothbrush in the victim's mouth," Ong said.

She turned back and saw that the toothbrush had got stuck in the child's mouth. The victim was "gagging and choking" on the toothbrush.

The boy's mother rushed to the bathroom to find him bleeding from his mouth. Though the maid told her the blood was from his teeth, she soon revealed that the toothbrush was stuck inside his mouth.

The boy was rushed to the emergency department at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, but doctors did not attempt to remove the toothbrush due to a lack of necessary equipment. He was later taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where a chest X-ray revealed the toothbrush head had lodged midway into his esophagus. Though the child vomited blood again, doctors managed to remove the toothbrush, which was caked brown with dried blood.

A medical report revealed the child had abrasions along the back wall of his throat and esophagus, almost 6 inches from his upper front teeth. The boy returned home on Dec. 31.

The maid, who did not have a lawyer, told the court her employer's children used to hit her. She claimed she told the parent about this, but he said he would give her $10 more to “take the beating.”

However, the deputy public prosecutor said this was the first time the prosecution had heard of this and that Paw Tan had told the police during investigations that the family treated her well.

Though the prosecutor told her she could file a complaint, Paw Tan said she wouldn't and that she just wanted to return to Myanmar.

An offender who causes harm to a child who is under 14 years old by performing a negligent act can be jailed for up to a year and receives a $5,000 fine.

 A toothbrush with toothpaste
Representational image Getty Images/Saul Loeb/AFP