Parents speak out as toddler battles back massager addiction

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (FTN) – A pair of local parents are warning others about the dangers of toddler back massage addiction.

Parents Chris and Ami Essex say their toddler is addicted to a back massager Ami received for Mother’s Day a couple of years ago.

“I love it. It is pretty nice. It’s the kind where you can turn it on and use it on yourself, it has the long handle,” Ami said.

About six months ago, as Chris used the massager on their, at the time, two-year-old son, Alex. Alex is three now.

“I thought he might like it, honestly, I just want to see how he responded,” Chris told us.

Chris and Ami said Alex fell in love with it right away.

“At first, it was really cute. He would get the biggest smile. It was harmless,” Ami said. “But the problems came when he started demanding it.”

According to a recent report, one out of every 10,000 toddlers struggles with massage addiction.

“Turn it on. Turn on the back massager,” Alex demanded when we asked him about it.

During our interview, Chris gave in, admitting he was an enabler.

“It’s hard. I mean, it’s harmless right? Victimless. Ami goes to the chiropractor…and Alex likes back massages,” Chris said. “I think it is a family issue, but we are past the point of return.”

Experts say using a massager on your child before they are five-years-old can lead to addiction, adding as adults, they will want to go to professionals to potentially pay for massages, upwards of one a week.

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