A 3-year-old girl was playing with matches, while wearing a cotton flannelette nightgown which was not treated with any flame retardant chemicals.


The nightgown caught fire and burned so rapidly that the child’s entire body was enveloped in flames. The nightgown was designed so that it could only be removed by pulling it over the head, and was thus very difficult to remove in an emergency. The child suffered third-degree burns of her chest, back, legs, face, neck and arms, including disfigurement of her lips, chin and neck, and especially severe contractures and fusions involving her neck and arms. She has required five hospitalizations for plastic reconstructive surgery in the past two years, and further surgical procedures are planned.