Firefighters rescue toddler with head stuck in a chair

Opal is a three-year-old who went in head first, but came off second best. Hayley Pickett was only a couple of metres from her daughter when she heard a cry. She turned to find Opal had somehow wedged her head between the backrest and seat of her toddler chair and couldn’t get out.

No matter what they tried, her little head was stuck. “Her head was not coming out of there,” says Hayley. “Honestly, I don’t know how she did it. I was two metres from where she was and in a second she was stuck.”

Panicked and wrangling her son Otis, 1, who kept trying to sit on his trapped sister, Hayley tried moving her daughter’s head to a new position. No luck. She tried pulling her out forwards. No luck again. Crying, Opal was getting more worked up the more Hayley tried to free her. “At the time it wasn’t funny,” she says.


After finding a blanket for Opal to rest her head on, Hayley’s mum ran to get help from the fire station next door. “They (the fireys) sounded the alarm and were really lovely, so great and helpful,” says Hayley, who is one of Babyology’s writers.

Using chocolate as a sweetener and a special tool to take the wooden chair apart, brave Opal was finally free and allowed to have a look inside the fire truck, which helped dry her tears. Coincidentally, one of the firemen was Opal’s swimming teacher, so his familiar face calmed her nerves. “I was instantly relieved when they arrived,” says Hayley.


The friendly firefighters said they get call outs to all sorts of rescues for little kids, but this was the first head in a chair they’d had. While she can laugh now, Hayley said the whole ordeal was “extremely stressful”. “I was embarrassed too – I was still in my pyjamas and my hair was crazy,” she says. “Now I’m worried what her brother will get up to, he copies everything his sister does. But I don’t have concerns Opal will ever do it again.”

What crazy places has your child had a body part stuck? We’d love to know. Just fill in the form below and we may feature your child on Babyology.

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