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Entire Family Ends Up In The ER After Using An Easy-Bake Oven To Make A Cake They Didn't Even Eat

Photo: Prostock-studio / Canva Pro
dad and daughter baking

A Massachusetts mom is sounding alarms about an iconic children's toy after a strange and terrifying incident that landed her, her husband, and their daughter in the hospital.

Turns out, theirs is far from the first safety mishap the toy has caused.

The entire family ended up in the ER after using an Easy-Bake Oven.

The Easy-Bake Oven has been a beloved toy ever since its launch in 1963 — and it's also become somewhat infamous for its burn risks. An oven? For little kids? Who could have seen this coming?!

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But after the experience that Stephanie, a mom and TikToker who goes by @steph_murphy on the app, and her family had with their Easy-Bake Oven, there might be a new safety hazard to add to the toy's repertoire.

The daughter immediately noticed a strange smell coming from the Easy-Bake Oven right out of the box.

In a recent video, Stephanie detailed how her husband Ryan and daughter Nora had just opened Nora's new Easy-Bake Oven over the weekend to make a red velvet layer cake.

   

   

Nora immediately noticed that the oven smelled "weird." Ryan assumed it was just the smell of plastic, and the odor quickly dissipated, so he and Nora continued baking their cake.

After the allotted time of 15-20 minutes, the cake was still raw. "So they figured, this is trash, we don't even wanna make the second layer and unplugged it," Stephanie said. "Nobody ate it. They threw it away."

Shortly thereafter, their little girl complained of breathing trouble, and her parents were soon feeling it too.

About 45 minutes after Nora and Ryan's baking stint, things took a dramatic turn. Nora began complaining of chest pain and then difficulty breathing. Stephanie got out a pulse oximeter and Nora's oxygen level was 89, well below the normal level of 95 to 100. 

They raced Nora to the ER, and that's when things took another turn. "My husband was like, 'Actually, I've been having difficulty breathing as well, I thought it was just me, I thought it was gonna pass, but it hasn't,'" Stephanie said.

   

   

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Stephanie then realized that she, too, was having shortness of breath. The ER triaged all three of them, and Ryan was found to have an oxygen level of 93 — not as bad as Nora's but still below normal. 

The ER doctors determined the family had suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from the Easy-Bake Oven.

Stephanie said that after a battery of tests and treatments, including chest X-rays, EKGs, IVs, blood work, and putting Ryan and Nora on oxygen, the only determination they could come up with that made any sense was that they'd all suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.

"They were puzzled," Stephanie said, but they determined that "nothing else makes sense, in order for all of us to get hit within an hour of each other." Also suspicious was that Nora and Ryan's symptoms were so much more acute than Stephanie's. 

Entire Family Ends Up In The ER After Using An Easy-Bake OvenPhoto: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

"Nora and Ryan both had compromised lungs and what looked to be pneumonia symptoms," she said, "versus my X-ray came back clear." The doctors said this was likely because Stephanie never used the oven but was instead in an adjacent room the entire time. 

As a precaution, the family had the fire department go to their house about eight hours later and test the air for all kinds of contaminants. Everything came back clear, leaving the Easy-Bake Oven as the only presumed cause. 

Easy-Bake Ovens have been recalled several times and were the cause of several injuries to children.

Stephanie's harrowing experience is far from the first time a family ended up in the ER after using an Easy-Bake Oven. The toy has a legacy of terrible mishaps.

In February 2007, the ovens were recalled after the company received several reports of children getting their fingers stuck and being burned by the ovens. 

   

   

Hasbro issued parents retrofit kits to fix the presumed problem with the oven, but in July of that year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reinstated the oven's recall after receiving more than 250 additional complaints and reports. 

Those included one child who sustained such serious third-degree burns after getting their fingers caught that they had to have a finger partially amputated. Another child ended up in the ER from the oven in 2014 after her mother unwittingly purchased a recalled model at a garage sale.

Given Stephanie's experience, it's not hard to imagine another recall coming down the pike, and she's been left rattled by what happened to her, Nora, and Ryan. 

"If we baked the second cake, we would have then been exposed to it for another 20 minutes. What would have happened then?" she wondered in her video. "This could have been much worse."

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.