BEIJING: An eight-year-old boy in China has lost his sight in one eye after playing with a desiccant dry pack in one of his snacks, local media reported on Tuesday (Dec 12).
The accident happened after the boy - named Keke - finished his mid-term exams, his mother told Legal Evening News.
As Keke had done well in his exams, his family bought him his favourite snacks as a reward, she said.
"When we got home, Keke happily sat on the sofa eating his snacks and watching cartoons while I was making dinner in the kitchen," she told Legal Evening News. "About 15 minutes later, I heard Keke's screams from the living room and hurriedly ran out - the sight before my eyes shocked me."
She saw Keke clutching his eyes, crying and rolling in pain on the floor, with a deformed drinks bottle near him.
According to a doctor, Keke's right eye had been dissolved by alkaline liquid erosion, resulting in permanent blindness in that eye, his mother told Legal Evening News.
When the doctor asked how the accident had happened, Keke said that when he had finished eating his snacks he saw that there was a "small bag" inside the packet and took it out to play with, his mother continued.
He put the bag into a drinks bottle that contained his beverage, after which the bottle exploded.
Keke said he felt his right eye burning and he could not see anything from that eye, his mother said.
"We now know, the 'small bag' in the packet that my son was talking about was a desiccant pack," she added.
Desiccant packs, which are usually made up of silica gel grains, absorb water and are used to help food remain crisp.
Netizens took to Weibo to question why such packs were being used.
"How could such dangerous items still be found in our food packaging? Children are too young to know the danger, the manufacturer is also responsible," said KevinS777 on Weibo in Chinese.
Another Weibo user zzxxxdass said that such dry packs should be fixed inside the packaging, and not easily removed by children.