Company tries to make good after its laser gun set sends Farmington boy to the ER

Posted at 6:50 PM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 20:50:40-05

FARMINGTON, Utah -- It started off as a fun Christmas morning for the Kirkwood family, enjoying family time and opening gifts.

"They were excited to open the laser guns right away," mother Lesha Kirkwood said.

"It was working, but it was just heating up, so I'm like, 'what’s wrong with it,'" said Kempton Kirkwood who was injured by exploding battery.

In a home video, you can see 7-year-old Kempton as he tries taking the batteries out of the malfunctioning gun, and then he reacts, as battery acid sprays into his face.

"That’s when I saw and heard this little explosion pop kind of sound," Lesha said.

"So when I looked at it, it just sprayed me in the eye," Kempton said. "It hurt a lot, so I screamed."

Lesha says they rushed Kempton to the emergency room, where doctors flushed out his eyes.

"So how did you feel for the rest of the day," asked FOX 13 News Reporter Amanda Gerry.

"Sad," Kempton said. "Most of the time, I had to wear an eye patch."

Lesha says they weren't going to report the incident, that is, until the next day, when they saw that the same exact thing happened to a mother in San Antonio, Texas, also on Christmas Day.

"And when I did this back to me, it just squirted all that," said Maria Rendon who was injured by the exploding battery. "It made a popping noise and it squirted black stuff all over me."

Lesha realized her son’s injury wasn't just a fluke accident and felt it was her responsibility to make sure it didn’t happen to anyone else.

"If something feels wrong about a toy or any device, something probably is," Lesha said, "And you should stay away from it."

As for Kempton, he suffered corneal abrasions and was given steroids and antibiotics.

The family reached out to the manufacturer of the gun set Thursday, a company called MerchSource. The company advised her to mail back the set and send copies of their medical bills. The company also offered to send them a care package along with an upgraded model of the guns.

"I was a little hesitant about that," Lesha said. "I don’t know if I’m quite ready for that."

Kempton is now on the mend, playing with his safer toys, and the family can laugh about it, knowing he's okay.

"His older brother wanted a BB gun, but we always said, 'no, you’ll shoot your eye out,'" Lesha said.

MerchSource did not immediately return a call Friday for a comment on whether its plans to recall the gun set.