Heartbroken South Yorkshire mum calls for millions of touch screen pens to be recalled after son chokes to death

Rebecca and Alfie.
Rebecca and Alfie.
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A grief-stricken mum has called for millions of touch screen pens used to function tablet devices to be recalled after her baby son chocked to death on one of them.

11-month-old son Alfie Moore-Scarpelli ingested the rubber end off of a stylus pen used to control a tablet that was charging in the living room of the family home and died several days later in hospital due to complications from choking.

The pen that Alfie ingested.

The pen that Alfie ingested.

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His mum Rebecca told how she is tormented by guilt as she had left her son for just a few short moments to go and look in the kitchen to see what they could have for their tea when the tragedy happened.

She is now calling for millions of the pens to be recalled worldwide so that extra safety features can be added in the hope that no other family has to go through the same heartbreak that they have.

The 28-year-old nursery nurse, of East Dene in Rotherham, said: “I keep on re-playing that moment over and over. We are all still so heartbroken.

Duane and Alfie.

Duane and Alfie.

“It was such a small bit of rubber off of a pen that has ultimately killed our son

“I want all of these pens taken off sale because I do not want anyone else to suffer the same that we have."

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Ms Scarpelli, who has two other children with partner Duane Moore, urged manufacturers to conduct better testing to make sure the rubber end of the pens does not come off as easily.

She would also like to see warning messages on packaging stating that they should not be used by children under a certain age and pose a potential choking risk.

The distraught mum also wants to see a hole punctured in the rubber end of each stylus so that if they are swallowed there will still be an air hole so people can breathe.

She said: “More and more young children are using these every day. I think someone died from choking on the end of a pen a few years ago and now many of them have got air holes in the top of them. Something similar needs doing quickly.”

An inquest into Alfie's death in May heard how Ms Scarpelli had left her son in the living room to go in the kitchen for a few short moments and returned to find him choking.

He was rushed to hospital and the object removed but it had blocked the oxygen supply to his brain and he died several days later on February 7 this year.

Coroner Louise Slater recorded a conclusion of accidental death and said Alfie's parents were not to blame for the tragedy and did everything they could to save him.

There was no suggestion at the hearing that the stylus pen was faulty.

Ms Scarpelli, who keeps a memory box of Alfie's favourite things, said: "He was very energetic and always very happy and had a smile on his face. He loved brushing his teeth in the bath, so we have kept his tooth brush in the memory box.

"We will miss him forever.”

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Ms Scarpelli has posted a warning on Facebook about the touch screen pens which has so far been shared more than 1300 times.