Chemical Burns To Children

@HighReed1 (1126)
United States
September 7, 2007 10:05pm CST
If you are a parent or grandparent, this post is meant to save your loved ones from the horror one parent went through. Here is the email I received - One of my five year old's favorite chores around the house is cleaning scuff marks off the walls, doors, and baseboards with either an Easy Eraser pad, or the real deal, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I purchased a package of Magic Erasers ages ago when they first came out. I remember reading the box, wondering what the "Magic" component was that cleaned crayon off my walls with ease. No ingredients were listed and absolutely no warnings were on the box, other than "Do not ingest." My package of the Scotchbrite Easy Erasers didn't have a warning either and since my child knew not to eat the sponges and keep them out of reach of his little brother and sister, it was a chore I happily let him do. If I had known that both brands (and others like them) contain a harmful alkaline or "base" chemical (opposite of acid on the pH scale) that can burn your skin, I never would have let my little boy handle them. When the Scotchbrite Easy Eraser was rubbed against his face and chin, he received severe chemical burns. At first, I thought he was being dramatic. I picked him up, put him on the counter top and washed his face with soap and water. He was screaming in pain. I put some lotion on his face - more agony. I had used a Magic Eraser to remove magic marker from my own knuckles a while back and I couldn't understand why he was suddenly in pain. Then, almost immediately, the large, shiny, blistering red marks started to spread across his cheeks and chin. I quickly searched Google.com for "Magic Eraser Burn" and turned up several results. I was shocked. These completely innocent looking white foam sponges can burn you? I called our pediatrician, and of course got sent to voice mail. I hung up and called the Hospital and spoke to an Emergency Room nurse. She told me to call Poison Control. The woman at Poison Control said she was surprised nobody had sued these companies yet and walked me through the process of neutralizing the alkaline to stop my son's face from continually burning more every second. I had already, during my frantic phone calling, tried patting some numbing antibiotic cream on his cheeks, and later some Aloe Vera gel - both resulted in screams of pain. The Poison Control tech had me fill a bathtub with warm water, lay my son into it, cover him with a towel to keep him warm and then use a soft washcloth to rinse his face and chin with cool water for a continuous 20 minutes. My son calmed down immediately. He told me how good it felt. I gave him a dose of Tylenol and after the twenty minutes was up, he got dressed in his Emergency Room doctor Halloween costume and off we went to the Hospital. They needed to make sure the chemical burn had stopped burning, and examine his face to determine if the burn would need to be debrided (from my fuzzy recollection of hospital work, this means removing loose tissue from a burn location). My son was pretty happy at the hospital, they were very nice and called him "Doctor" and let him examine some of their equipment. The water had successfully stopped the burning and helped soothe a lot of the pain. I'm sure Tylenol was helping too. They sent us home with more Aloe Vera gel, Polysporin antibiotic cream, and some other numbing burn creams. By the time we got home, my son was crying again. I tried applying some of the creams but he cried out in pain. Water seemed to be what worked the best. After a rough night, he was swollen and wouldn't move his lips very much to avoid moving the skin on his taut cheeks. Today he is doing much better. The burns have started to scab over, and in place of red, raw, angry, skin we have a deeper red, rough healing layer. I can touch his skin now, without it stinging. I got this as an e-mail and wanted to warn parents about this possibility.
2 people like this
2 responses
@hoghoney (3749)
• United States
30 Sep 07
OMG! I had no ideal that them things can burn skin like that. I have to watch what type of cleaners I use like them because now and days they are always putting that orange chemical in so such stuff these days and being allerigic to anything orange I cant use it. I hope that this mother that worte this email has tried to get something done about Magic Eraser to have some kind of notice on the boxes theses days. Hugz!
1 person likes this
@HighReed1 (1126)
• United States
2 Oct 07
I'm not sure if she did anything or not. I don't think it is an orange chemical. After brainstorming with a couple of friends, we came up with ammonia as the possible mystery additive. You're never supposed to mix THAT with bleach.
@hoghoney (3749)
• United States
9 Oct 07
That is true, I made a mistake one time of mixing toliet bowl cleaner with something and it sure did make alot of smoke from the toliet, LOL.
1 person likes this
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
8 Sep 07
WOW. I use the Magic Erasers all the time as does my sister who has small kids. My kids are older and they don't DO cleaning (21 and 17 year old sons) but my nephews are just 6 and 9 and like helping around the house. My sister bought these sponges because there were no chemicals in them and the kids could help without the worry of any sort of illness, poison, or burns. I am copying and pasting this info immediately to my sister and will call her in the morning. This is SO eye opening. Thank you for posting it. You may have saved at least a couple of little kids a lot of pain or worse!
@HighReed1 (1126)
• United States
8 Sep 07
I was told this was an urban legend, so I went to the product's website. It doesn't list ingredients, but says 'Do not use with chlorine bleach'. Now why would they say that, unless it has SOME kind of chemical in it? My Dobie pad and sponges say nothing either. Now I wonder what is in THEM?!