Scott Nesbitt requires a plastic, bendy straw to drink. (Carmell Nesbitt photo)

Scott Nesbitt requires a plastic, bendy straw to drink. (Carmell Nesbitt photo)

Victoria mother concerned by city’s potential straw ban

Carmell Nesbitt’s son has cerebral palsy and can only drink with plastic straws

When Carmell Nesbitt first heard the City of Victoria is considering banning disposable straws, she immediately bought more from the store.

Nesbitt’s 37-year-old son Scott has cerebral palsy and a swallowing condition, so he can’t drink without plastic, bendable straws. His dysplasia can also make him aspirate fluid into his lungs. Without access to straws, Scott could become dehydrated.

“It’s kind of like when you have freezing done for dental work and you try to swallow but it drools all down your face. It’s like that all the time for him,” Nesbitt said. “Even with the straws, he still needs other people to hold his cup.”

READ MORE: City of Victoria considers disposable straw ban

They’ve tried everything.

“Because he doesn’t have the motor control, when he drinks out of a paper straw it squeezes too tight and it collapses, then the straw doesn’t work anymore. If he uses a hard straw, he can’t get a good suction on it and can’t get the fluid up,” she said.

At the suggestion of a friend, she bought reusable silicone straws, but Scott found they were still too thick to get proper suction. Other reusable straws, such as those made of metal, are too hard. The ones that don’t bend can’t stay in his mouth at all.

“It’s just disastrous,” Nesbitt said.

READ MORE: BC Ferries to switch to paper straws

Scott lives in a group home, and goes out often to restaurants, especially to Tim Hortons for hot chocolate. He works twice a week, where he’ll eat lunch while at his job. He goes through six to eight straws a day, one with every meal and then every time he drinks between that.

“We always try to make sure we have straws with us and he brings them with him, but sometimes the supply runs out. He gets frustrated because it’s too hard to drink. He says no because he knows it’s going to make a mess and it’s embarrassing,” she said, adding that it also impacts his independence.

“I understand the issue of why they want to ban the straws for the environment,” she said. “However, before they do something like that, they really need to come up with another option that’s going to work for people like my son. I know there are some options, but there are still not enough good options available.”

READ MORE: Some readers say no to proposed plastic straw ban in Victoria


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Divyesh Nagarajan, third from the left, has founded the Be My Friend project to bring support and companionship to vulnerable youth and address North Saanich’s food security challenges. (Courtesy of Divyesh Nagarajan)
Greater Victoria teen looks to connect vulnerable youth with a buddy, bolster food security

Be My Friend project was founded by St. Michaels University School student Divyesh Nagarajan

Greater Victoria is ranked fourth out of 27 Canadian cities for the best places for youth to work in, according to a RBC report. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria among best Canadian cities for youth to work in, says RBC report

Region ranked fourth out of 27, behind Vancouver, Hamilton and Edmonton

Donna Brower (left) and her daughter Carol Anne Penner, members of the Silver Swans – a quilting group of 12 ladies who meet at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary – with a mountain of masks they sewed. (Photo submitted by Julia Dawson)
Saanich quilting group nabs first prize in Volunteer BC photo contest

Silver Swans sewing club raised more than $12,000 for Swan Lake nature sanctuary

Saanich police reported an increase in violent crimes and a drop in traffic incidents in the first three months of 2021 compared to the final quarter of 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich police report increase in violent crimes during first quarter of 2021

More domestic violence, less property crime and distracted driving compared to end of 2020

Happy green tomato seedlings wait to be purchased at 3378 Wishart Rd. in Colwood. They’ve been grown especially for the Colwood Garden Society’s fundraiser to build a shed at the community garden. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Colwood Garden Society hopes to raise shed with plant sale

Herbs, vegetable starts, flowers and more for $1, $2 and $3 until May 15

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
BREAKING: Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

Scenes like this one in the dugout are all too frequent for parents and kids arriving to play baseball at Nunns Creek Park these days, spurring a request to the city to let them move to the Sportsplex in Willow Point. Photo from CRMB presentation to City of Campbell River
Needles, feces and the unhoused send Island kids baseball program to greener pastures

Campbell River minor baseball program switches ballparks over growing safety concerns

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. to use remaining AstraZeneca vaccine for 2nd doses

Health officials say the change is due to the limited availability of the vaccine

A youth plays basketball in an otherwise quiet court in Toronto on Saturday April 17, 2021. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on proven public health policy interventions including paid sick leave, and education rather than punitive enforcement measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during 2nd wave: CCLA report

‘A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis,’ reads the report

Capt. Arpit Mahajan of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds - Snowbirds 2 - shows off his ‘Jenn Book’ dedicated to Capt. Jennifer Casey. Zoom screenshot
Homecoming for B.C.-raised Snowbirds pilot training in the province

Capt. Arpit Mahajan flies Snowbird 2 in his first year as a solo pilot with the team

Most Read