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Boy, 8, gets pencil lodged in head after being struck by dad

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A father’s act of disciplining his child almost took a turn for the worse in China’s Wuhan province. 

Angry at his son for refusing to redo his homework, the man struck the child with his bare hands. The 8-year-old boy raised his arm to block the blow, but had a pencil in hand. The sharpened end of the pencil ended up lodged in the back of the boy's head from the impact.

The incident occured on New Year’s eve last year. 

According to Sina News, the boy had completed some revision exercises that evening. The father was unhappy with the boy’s handwriting and instructed his son to redo the work, to which the boy continually refused.  

An X-ray of the boy's head showed the pencil lodged at the base of his skull. PHOTO: WEIBO

The boy was rushed to hospital, where medical staff performed emergency surgery.

The pencil had penetrated 7cm into the right side of the boy's neck. It had missed his spinal canal by mere millimetres, said the doctor, an injury that could have caused paralysis. 

If the object had hit a vertebral artery, it would also have put the boy's life in danger.

There was also concern that pieces of lead or wood fragments would be lodged in the boy's skin, heightening the risk of infection. As a result, the boy was given a tetanus shot. 

He was discharged from hospital on Jan 9.

The director of neurosurgery at a children's hospital in Wuhan, Dr Du Hao, said the boy was "lucky" the pencil did not pierce his skull. "Otherwise, the risk of infection would be greatly increased," he added.

Dr Du reminded parents never to remove foreign objects lodged in the head on their own, and that the patient should be taken to hospital as soon as possible. 

Removing the object abruptly could lead to massive internal bleeding and endanger the life of the patient, he said.