The Lice Blog

Young girl left with horrific burns after toxic lice shampoo ‘set her on fire’

A young girl was left fighting for her life with severe facial and head burns after a head lice shampoo burst into flames in her hair.

Jodie O’Donoghue, now 10, is still having treatment following the incident back in 2007. She had the Prioderm product in her hair after her parents treated her and her 12-year-old sister Jasmine for a head lice outbreak. As she blew out a candle at the family home in Tipperary, Ireland, the lotion ignited, setting her hair, cheeks and ears alight.

The flames spread from Jodie’s forehead to her hair, cheeks and ears – leaving her with terrible injuries.

Her dad Phil, 45, frantically tried to put out the flames, eventually having to douse her head under water.

Lice ShampooJodie was then rushed to hospital for specialist treatment. Her mum Nichola, 44, said: “Jodie was only seconds away from burning everything on her face. Any longer and she would have lost her eyes and her whole face would have been gone.

“Her sister had the same Lice Treatment on her hair and the same thing could have happened to her. It was awful.”

Jodie, from Tipperary, Ireland, was kept heavily sedated in hospital for six weeks while doctors carried out agonising treatment including skin grafts.

Nichola said: “Her ears recovered but all of her cheeks and forehead had to have skin grafts.

“They took the skin from her head so they had to shave her hair off. It was horrible. This was my little baby girl. She was such a beautiful girl people would swoon over her. She was absolutely perfect.”

Nichola also revealed how Jodie suffered from taunts about her injured face.

She said: “Originally her face looked like red candle wax. We couldn’t go into a shop without people staring, pointing and even shrieking. Every time we went out I felt like I was being stabbed in the heart.

“Luckily her features have recovered and her eyebrows and eyelashes have grown back. She does have an area where the hair has not been able to grow back, but this is hidden by hair that falls over the top of it.”

Lice ShampooJodie, who is now ten, is still receiving treatment six years after her ordeal in March 2007.

And her mum said: “Only now has she been able to talk about what happened.

“She couldn’t look at any pictures of her face. She has been through so much. It is so difficult for her to talk about it.

“The worst place to have a scar is on your face. She is so lucky that the rest of her face will heal.”

It is not known what caused the fire to break out on Jodie’s face. But Nichola has started legal action against the makers of the  Lice Shampoo– winning a production stop of Prioderm.

Nichola said: “I want them to take responsibility for producing such a dangerous product and to compensate us for our costs in her treatment, our trauma and for Jodie.”

The manufacturers of Prioderm, Reckitt Benckiser, told the Irish Daily Mail yesterday: ‘At the time of the incident, which we understand was in 2007, Prioderm was part of the Seton/SSL portfolio which was later acquired by Reckitt Benckiser in November 2010. ‘There are no safety issues with the product when used in accordance with the instructions.’

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