Florida Mom Arrested After Video Of Daughter Licking Tongue Depressor Goes Viral

A Florida woman was jailed on felony charges thanks to a viral video she took showing her daughter licking a tongue depressor at a doctor’s office and putting it back in the jar.

Cori Ward, 30, of Jacksonville, was arrested Thursday and charged with tampering with a consumer product without regard for possible death or bodily injury, according to location station WJXT-TV. A judge on Friday set bond at $2,500 and ordered that she not have any contact with the doctor’s office or social media.

Ward was arrested after she posted a Snapchat video of her 10-year-old daughter licking the tongue depressor at the All About Kids and Families Medical Center, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office report. Someone pointed out the video to the clinic, which asked police to investigate.

The video ends with this sentence superimposed on the clip: “Don’t tell me how to live my life.”

You can see the clip here:

The video was eventually shared on Facebook and it quickly went viral.

The clinic said it immediately removed medical items in the exam room and sanitized the area, according to WJXT-TV. A representative told reporters on Wednesday that an internal investigation revealed no other patients were at harm or risk.

Ward told WJAX-TV before she was arrested that she made the video during a long wait at the clinic with her children. 

“I mean honestly I wasn’t thinking,” she said. “I know what it’s like to, you know, have to worry about your kids’ health and stuff. I would never put somebody else’s kid at risk.”

She added: “I was just being silly with my kids. It’s ruined my life right now. That’s how I feel at least.”

After the video went public, Ward wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post that all the materials in the medical office that her kids handled were either cleaned or discarded, according to local cable news channel First Coast News.

“The video doesn’t show that the items were thrown away or anything else that happened,” she said.

Ward denied she was aware of a social media “licking challenge” in which people film themselves tonguing products in stores and then putting them back for others to use.