Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

Girl, 6, left with horrific burns to her face after hand sanitizer CAUGHT FIRE while she was playing with it

HAND sanitizer ignited while a girl, six, was playing with it, leaving her with horrific burns to her face.

Izabella Reaume's shocking injury comes as the FDA warns of a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products testing positive for methanol contamination.


The Toledo, Ohio, girl has been left with severe scars across her face, from ear-to-ear, after the hand sanitizer accidentally caught fire.

Since being rushed to hospital, where medics battled to save her, she has had to wear a pressure garment across her face for 23 hours a day.

Her mom, Larrissa Schaffenberg, 29, is now speaking out to warn fellow parents about the dangers of leaving hand sanitizer lying around.

Larrissa said: "It is heartbreaking, my little girl thinks she is ugly now.

"I have to tell her every day that she is beautiful and that you do not have to look the same as everyone else to be gorgeous, but a lot of the time she does not believe me.

"Some days are better than others, one day she will try and ignore the scars, and the next day she will be extremely upset and thinking that she is hideous again."


Izabella had been playing outside with her cousin and a pal, watched by a childminder as her mom went to work.

But within 45 minutes of Larissa leaving the family home she received a panicked phone call telling her to rush to hospital.

It transpired that one of the kids Izabella was playing with had brought a lighter and flicked the switch, setting the hand sanitizer alight.

Deli worker Larrissa recalled: "I had not even been at work 45 minutes and my phone started to ring, I answered and the babysitter told me that my six-year-old baby girl had been burnt.

"My heart sank and I began to panic; I left work right away and made my way to meet them at the hospital."


She explained that her daughter had been playing out in the front garden, with her big brother, her cousin and one of the neighbour's kids.

"They were messing around with some hand sanitizer that had been lying around because we were using it all the time to protect against Covid 19.

"They were playing around and squirting it about, and some was squirted on to the front porch ledge.

"One of the neighbour's kids had a lighter and lit it. It set ablaze and caught Izabella's face."

When the mom-of-three arrived at hospital, "I carried her in my arms. When I saw what had happened to her face I was devastated.

"My beautiful baby girl, how could this have happened to her?"

Doctors had to cut off Izabella's clothes, give her medication to help ease the immense pain and clean up her severe burns.

Since leaving hospital, her mom has had to clean her burns twice a day, and remove and reapply the gauze.

In August, Izabella was given a special pressure garment, which she now has to wear on her face 23 hours a day.

Larrissa said: "The pressure garment is hopefully going to help press and flatten Izabella's scars so that her face heals as best it can.

"She may have to wear this for the next couple of years – it just depends on how quickly her little body repairs.

"She does not need any skin grafts which is lucky.

"Her scars have come a long way so far; they have now all closed up. In the beginning, they were open and constantly seeping."


Poor Izabella was in such shock about the accident that she refused to look at her reflection in a mirror for three months.

Izabella's schooling is currently online due to the coronavirus restrictions.

And the girl says this is a relief as she can turn her camera off so none of her classmates can see her because she is worried about being bullied over her scars.

Larrissa said: "I am just so shocked that hand sanitizer could cause such damage – I did not know it could blow up like that.

"It has been so traumatic for Izabella, I feel terrible that this has happened to her.

"She has shown she is such a strong little girl and I know that she will be okay in the end, as time goes on things are getting a little easier."


The FDA is warning consumers and health care providers that the agency has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol).

But they have tested positive for methanol contamination.

Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested.

It's also highly flammable and can be easily ignited by heat, sparks, or flames.

The agency is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death.

Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects.

The FDA’s investigation of methanol in certain hand sanitizers is ongoing.


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