A 5-year-old girl received second- and third-degree burns after her mother reportedly poured gasoline on her head in an attempt to treat head lice, KRMG News Talk Radio in Tulsa, Okla., reported
State investigators said Shana Suggs poured the gas on her daughter’s head and a nearby space heater caught the girl and Suggs on fire, said KRMG.
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The Tulsa World reported that the incident occurred in January.
A police official told the newspaper that they believe the house filled with gas fumes and the hot water tank caught on fire, which spread to the girl’s hair.
Apparently Suggs’ boyfriend heard the screams and was able to put the fire out with a jacket, KRMG reported.
Suggs was burned on her arms, hands, and one foot, according to The Tulsa World. The daughter’s injuries covered 60 percent of her body, the newspaper reported. The little girl and other children living in the home have been placed with relatives.
Suggs has been charged with child abuse.
Shopinprivate.com reported in a story about common myths on head lice
: “Myth: Gasoline or Kerosene is a good lice treatment. Truth: Every year someone manages to kill or maim a child because they believe that gasoline or kerosene is an effective lice killer (they are not). The last case we know of was a 13 year old girl from Lorimor, Iowa. The volatile fumes will combust. These products should not be applied to the hair (or other parts of the body).”
Fox News reported an 18-year-old girl was critically injured
in 2009 by soaking her hair in gas to kill lice.
Even Snopes.com takes on the idea that gasoline is safe to treat head lice.
“The practice of using gasoline ... to kill head and body lice is an old one; references to it appear in medical journals as far back as 1917,” the site said.
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