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14-year-old girl’s skin ‘melted away’ after suffering third-degree burns from nail polish remover

Britt Jones

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| Last updated 

14-year-old girl’s skin ‘melted away’ after suffering third-degree burns from nail polish remover

Featured Image Credit: Shriners Children's Ohio

Whether its skincare, hair oils, tanning or simply choosing the best nail polish remover, there is always a risk if using something flammable.

This is what an Ohio teen wants people to know about after removing her nail polish left her with third-degree burns.

Kennedy, a 14-year-old girl was getting ready to join her cheerleading team for a school basketball game when it all went wrong.

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The young girl was home alone and sitting close to a candle whilst removing her polish, something she had done numerous times before.

Kennedy told PEOPLE: “I had to take my fingernail polish off because it's not in uniform and as I was taking it off I had a candle near me on my bed.

“As I was setting the bottle of nail polish remover down on my bed the fumes kind of just mixed together and the bottle exploded in my hand. It caught me and everything near me on fire.

“I was really scared and I was screaming and just trying to do as much as I could to stop me being on fire and just get out.”

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Kennedy is on the cheerleading team. Credit: Shriners Children’s Ohio
Kennedy is on the cheerleading team. Credit: Shriners Children’s Ohio

With just herself and four siblings at home as her parents were at work, she began screaming from the pain.

Thankfully, two of her siblings then bust into her room, which was covered in flames and she was able to put out the fire as her siblings called the police once rushing to leave the home.

Kennedy’s mother Brandi arrived home the same time as the ambulance and said: “It was a horrific scene of her being covered in bubbles and welts and her skin being melted away.

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“It was a wild experience.”

Kennedy said she felt 'really scared' when the bottle exploded. Credit: Shriners Children’s Ohio
Kennedy said she felt 'really scared' when the bottle exploded. Credit: Shriners Children’s Ohio

The young teen was quickly rushed to Shriners Children’s Hospital, a specialty burn hospital, and was treated by Dr Sara Higginson, chief of staff and the on-call burn surgeon.

Kennedy said that the incident was 'nothing I've ever been through before', and after the adrenaline faded, she found herself in 'a lot of pain'.

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Since then, the young girl has undergone a surgical excision and grafting procedure to remove the burned skin - but the healing process can take up to a year.

Higginson told PEOPLE: “Kennedy ended up having full thickness injuries on her abdomen, both thighs and then her right arm.

"And the other areas she was able to heal without having to have it excised and grafted.

Kennedy was rushed to Shriners Children’s Hospital. Credit: Shriners Children’s Ohio
Kennedy was rushed to Shriners Children’s Hospital. Credit: Shriners Children’s Ohio
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“But she did have pretty extensive injuries to kind of the whole front side of her.”

However, doctors are pleased with Kennedy's process so far.

She will now have to undergo laser treatment every 'two months for six to 10 treatments' to minimise scarring and attend occupational and physical therapy to help her mind and body after such a horrific experience.

However, the mum and daughter are hoping to raise awareness about the dangers of flammable products and where you choose to apply it in a bid to stop this from happening to someone else.

Kennedy with Dr Sara Higginson. Credit: Shriners Children’s Ohio
Kennedy with Dr Sara Higginson. Credit: Shriners Children’s Ohio

Brandi said that although open flames being around accelerants are common for people to know to stay away from, raising fire safety and environmental awareness needs to be a focus because 'things can change at the drop of a hat'.

Kennedy is expected to make a great recovery and is already able to use her hands to tie her cheerleading bow.

Dr Higginson also said Kennedy is healing remarkably well, and that's - in part - a credit to her determination to get back to the activities she loves, like cheerleading and playing the saxophone.

Topics: Beauty, News, Health

Britt Jones
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