Can I draw your attention to an email we have received from our Fire Service. You may wish to pass the information on to the relevant people.
A 4 year old girl suffered serious burns to her head and neck recently following application of a treatment for head lice. The lotion had been applied to her head and left to take effect. However the child found a cigarette lighter, which she operated setting fire to her hair and a nylon fleece type blanket which had been placed around her neck to protect her clothing.
The injuries to the child resulted in her being admitted to hospital in a critical condition. She will need to undergo numerous skin grafts over future months.
As a result of an investigation into the incident it became apparent that a warning to users has only just started appearing on the product packaging, following an earlier incident whereby a young boy suffered similar injuries. The warning only appears on batches produced within the last twelve months. The manufacturers Thornton-Ross advised that the product has a shelf life of three years. This means that many boxes will not carry any warning at all.
The warning on the newer packaging is not particularly conspicuous, and does not carry a warning symbol. We have requested that future packaging does carry a more conspicuous warning.
The manufacturers are currently looking into the issue, but changes to packaging of any pharmaceutical product cannot be made without permission from the regulatory body (MHRA). Any changes, if approved may not appear for some time.
In an ideal world kids wouldn't play with lighters.
However, if a bit of education prevents one child from a suffering terrible long-term injuries then let's educate.