Toddler suffers severe burns to lips after mistaking washing powder for milk powder

PHOTO: Apple Daily screengrab

Parents, be careful of where you place household items, no matter how harmless they may seem.

A 2-year-old girl suffered serious burns to her lips and skin, after accidentally ingesting a cleaning powder she'd reportedly mistaken for milk powder.

According to Chinese media reports, the incident occurred on Aug 24 in Fuzhou, China.

Unaware that the packet contained a strong cleaning agent for washing machines and not just regular laundry detergent, family members had placed the packet in a low cabinet at home.

Attracted by its colourful packaging, the toddler named Xiaoyun managed to get a hold of the washing powder and chewed off part of the plastic, consuming some of the powder in the process.

The girl immediately began to wail in pain and fright.

Her grandmother carried her up and tried to get her to regurgitate whatever she had consumed, but Xiaoyun continued to cry and drool uncontrollably.

Other family members then attempted to rinse her mouth with warm water and even fed her cooking oil in an effort to soothe her pain.

However, after a minute, Xiaoyun's lips turned n purple and within three to four minutes, her lips began to blister and ooze blood, Sina reported.

She was immediately rushed to the hospital though by the time she arrived, three hours had passed.

According to reports, the girl is still recovering in hospital but her condition is not known.

Doctors found that Xiaoyun had suffered severe burns not just on her lips but her mouth, tongue and digestive tract.

Parts of her body were also burned as some of the strong alkaline powder had gotten onto her skin in the ensuing panic following the accident.

According to the hospital superintendant surnamed Wang, in such cases of poisoning, family members should not induce vomiting, as it could cause perforation, bleeding or serious injury to the esophagus and digestive tract.

If the child is unconscious or had accidentally consumed gasoline or kerosene, forcing him or her to vomit may also cause suffocation, said Wang.

What one should do is to remove any contaminated clothing and rinse the affected area under running water for 15 minutes, before getting the child to the hospital as quickly as possible.

Wang added in his 30 years of experience, he has treated many similar cases where children had mistakenly eaten poisonous items such as insecticide, rat poison, detergent and kerosene, which were improperly placed in drinking bottles or other packaging.

He cautioned that parents should put such items away and out of reach of children.

"In cases of poisoning, it is best if the child gets treated as early as possible, within six hours. Parents should also bring along the item which the child had accidentally ingested to the hospital, so doctors can figure out the best way to treat the patient," said Wang.