A two-year-old boy died from methanol poisoning in Dongguan after his parents applied industrial alcohol to his skin to help his fever.
After the toddler, Xiao Dong, came down with a fever last Saturday, his father, surnamed Chang, took a bottle of industrial alcohol from his company and used it to wipe his son’s armpit, hoping to reduce his temperature.
Minutes later, Xiao Dong fainted and was rushed to the Shenzhen Children’s hospital.
“When [the parents] arrived at the hospital, they did not know it was the alcohol that had caused this,” Ma Weike, a doctor at the hospital, was quoted as saying in an SCMP report. “They thought it was the fever that had made the child lose consciousness.”
After hours of treatment, Xiao Dong eventually died of methanol poisoning the next day.
Xiao Dong’s parents had heard that alcohol can be used to lower one’s temperature, but was not aware of its danger. Industrial alcohol has a 95 percent methyl content and is easily absorbed into the skin, especially by children.
According to Ma, around 1,000 mL of industrial alcohol was used on Xiao Dong, an excessive amount that could be lethal even on an adult’s body.
As you’d expect, this isn’t the first case of DIY medical treatment turning disastrous. A young girl from Guangdong province last year suffered severe burns over 60 percent of her body after her father wrongheadedly used gasoline to clean a wound on her leg and she caught fire.
[Image via City.Udn]
By Sharon Choi