"I am just so shocked that hand sanitizer could cause such damage, I did not know it could blow up like that," said mom Larrissa.
Trigger Warning: This story contains graphic images.
A six-year-old girl has been left with severe burns to her face after the hand sanitizer she was playing with caught fire. Now, her mom Larrissa Schaffenberg, 29, wants other parents to know about the dangers involved when it comes to leaving hand sanitizers around. According to Daily Mail, Izabella Reaume, from Toledo, Ohio, had been playing outside with her cousin and a friend, watched by a nanny as her mother went to work. 45 minutes after Larrissa left for work, she received a panic-stricken call telling her to get to the hospital immediately as Izabella had suffered burns to her face due to hand sanitizer, as per Daily Mail.
One of the other kids that Izabella was reportedly playing with brought out a lighter and flicked the switch, causing the sanitizer to go up in flames. The girl was rushed to the hospital and medics tried their best to save her. However, she has to wear a pressure garment across her face for 23 hours a day. "'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," explained Larrissa. "My heart sank and I began to panic, I left work right away and made my way to meet them at the hospital."
"Izabella had been playing out in the front garden, with her big brother, her cousin and one of the neighbor's kids, as she always did. They were messing around with some hand sanitizer that had been laying 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 kid had a lighter and lit it. It set ablaze and caught Izabella's face. When we arrived at the 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?" questioned Larrissa, a deli worker.
When she arrived at the hospital, she was given medication to help ease the excruciating pain that she was in, and cleaned out all of her burns. She had to spend the night in the hospital, and after leaving, Larrissa had to clean her daughter's burns twice a day, and remove and reapply the gauze. In August, Izabella was given a pressure garment, which she now has to wear on her face 23 hours a day. "The pressure garment is hopefully going to help press and flatten Izabella's scars so that her face heals as best it can," explained Larissa. "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." Larrissa reveals that it took Izabella about three months for her to get to look at herself in the mirror as she was too terrified of what she was going to see. "It is heartbreaking, my little girl thinks she is ugly now," said mother-of-three, Larrissa. "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, who is currently attending online classes say it's a relief because she can just turn off her camera when she wants to so that no one will have to see the scars on her face. "I am just so shocked that hand sanitizer could cause such damage, I did not know it could blow up like that," said Larrissa. "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."