Today we learn that certain skin creams can lead to fire death. We hear that a Philip Hoe lit a cigarette. The sparks from the cigarette reacted with the skin emollient cream he was covered in (which he used for treatment for psoriasis) and within seconds he was engulfed in flames. He subsequently died.
The alarming point about the article is that it states there are 50 such deaths reported (we assume in a year) and that the cream can be found on washed clothes and bedding as the washing process can reduce the product build up but not remove it entirely.
The authorities have just advised that users “should be made aware of the risk” but should not stop using it. Users should not smoke or go near naked flames.
This is all well and good advice for the adults and older children amongst us but how can you stop a young child or toddler who is covered in such creams from going near let’s say a fire at home or someone smoking? I think most of the time parents are watchful over their children but there are moments when a parent will not be able to watch their child, just for a moment, perhaps even a very small moment. How do you protect that toddler? Is it therefore sufficient to simply be “aware of the risk”? Should different creams be prescribed for certain people e.g. toddlers or those with less serious or chronic conditions? Should there be risk assessments before prescribing these creams? Who will be responsible for providing the advise or assessing the risks? Will it be the GP or specialist at hospitals, pharmacist or do we need a stricter code here?