Gemma Free has spoken out against Huggies nappies after she claimed her daughter was left with third-degree chemical burns (pictured)
A mother-of-two claims her daughter suffered third-degree chemical burns after wearing a Huggies nappy.
Gemma Free, from Barnsley in the UK, said she put her daughter, Sophia, in a fresh Huggies DryNites pull-up nappy at 10.30pm on a night in January, 2018.
When she went to get Sophia, then three, ready for kindergarten eight hours later, Ms Free said her daughter’s skin where the nappy had been was red and got ‘worse by the minute’.
Ms Free is speaking out after a 23-month-old toddler from Randwick in Sydney was left in severe pain earlier this month after his Huggies nappy exploded over night leaving dangerous gelatine crystals on his chest.
Huggies has denied any fault in their products and said they were safe after a ‘comprehensive investigation’.
The 32-year-old from Barnsley in the UK, said she put her daughter Sophia in a fresh Huggies DryNites pull-up nappy at 10.30pm
Ms Free rushed her daughter to the doctor that morning and was told Sophia had suffered from third-degree chemical burns.
She alleges ‘from where the marks were, as you can see from the photos, they were most likely from the pull-up’.
‘Sophia was in a lot of pain as her skin was falling off. She had to have four days off of nursery as she had to be naked because she couldn’t bear the touch of anything on her skin,’ the 32-year-old told Daily Mail Australia.
Sophia, now four, has been left with faint scarring from the incident.
Ms Free had used Huggies nappies on both of her children for three months without issue before the burns incident occurred.
‘We had to stop using pull-ups or any sort of nappy all together as I wouldn’t trust putting one on her again and she wouldn’t let me near her with one,’ she said.
When she went to get her child ready for nursery more than eight hours later Ms Free said where the nappy had been was red and just got ‘worse by the minute’. Pictured Ms Free and Sophia
Ms Free said her daughter had to immediately learn how to be dry throughout the night.
‘The horror of seeing my little girl suffer like she did will be with me forever,’ she said.
Ms Free said she contacted Huggies after the incident but was left less than impressed with their response.
‘We got in touch with Huggies who offered us vouchers and basically fobbed us off time and time again,’ she said, adding they ‘won’t take any responsibility for it’.
Ms Free and her husband have set up a support group on Facebook for people who have seen their child suffer through something similar.
They rushed her to the doctors that morning, where they told her that Sophia had suffered from third-degree chemical burns. Ms Free alleges ‘from where the marks were as you can see from the photos most likely from the pull-up’
‘It’s alarming how many children have suffered due to there products,’ she said.
‘I just want more people aware of what can happen with these products, they should have been removed from the shelves.’
However Kimberley-Clark, Huggies’ parent company, said they are satisfied that their DryNites did not cause Sophia’s chemical burns.
‘Taking any concerns around product safety extremely seriously, we conducted a comprehensive investigation into this UK case when it was brought to our attention in January 2018,’ a spokesperson said.
‘This investigation found no evidence of any issues with the DryNites® pants, from manufacture to delivery.’
The company’s investigation into what happened included pinpointing when the nappy was made to ensure that the operation was running to specification at that time.
They also hired an independent laboratory which found that solvent that can be found in household toiletries leaked over and into this particular packaging.
They hired a dermatologist to analyse the child and they allegedly concluded it was highly unlikely that a ‘normal nappy’ caused this.
‘As a responsible manufacturer, we have taken all the necessary measures to fully investigate this claim and are satisfied that the DryNites® pants themselves did not cause this reaction,’ the spokesperson said.
Huggies’ full statement:
At Kimberly-Clark, nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of the families who use our products. Taking any concerns around product safety extremely seriously, we conducted a comprehensive investigation into this UK case when it was brought to our attention in January 2018. This investigation – outlined below – found no evidence of any issues with the DryNites® pants, from manufacture to delivery. For your background:
– Using the DryNites® packaging code, our Quality Assurance Team was able to pinpoint the exact date and time the pants were made, and confirmed that all operations were running to specification. This included thorough product packaging, involving four distinct cardboard and plastic packaging layers, before the pants were sent out for delivery.
– Independent laboratory analysis found that a fluid with solvent properties (ingredients commonly found in household toiletries) had run over the external surface of the DryNites® pack, and into the pack when the pants were opened or through packaging air vents. None of our manufacturing plants, distribution centres, or any other section of our supply chain uses any such toiletry products in the manufacturing of our diaper pants.
– Kimberly-Clark also arranged an independent dermatologist consultation for the family’s daughter. This expert concluded it was highly unlikely that any normal nappy including DryNites® pants caused this reaction, as nappies are made with very inert materials and wouldn’t be able to produce this level of inflammation. Additionally, the child had worn the same brand of pants for three months prior without any reaction. All the materials used in our DryNites® pants are thoroughly evaluated to ensure they are safe and suitable for the over 100 million babies and children who use these products every year.
As a responsible manufacturer, we have taken all the necessary measures to fully investigate this claim and are satisfied that the DryNites® pants themselves did not cause this reaction.