Maryland City boy, 4, burned while playing with a lighter

April 20, 2001|By Johnathon E. Briggs | Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF

A 4-year-old Maryland City boy playing with a cigarette lighter suffered burns yesterday morning when he accidentally ignited his shirt, county fire officials said.

Kevin Ramos of the 100 block of Charlotte Drive was taken by ambulance to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center burn center in Baltimore, where he was treated for a third-degree burn to his abdomen and a second-degree burn to his left wrist. He was released by the afternoon.

Paramedics were called shortly before 8 a.m. by the boy's father, who was alerted to his son's injuries when he heard a yell from another room in the family's apartment. Minutes earlier, fire officials said, Kevin had been playing with a cigarette lighter left in the apartment Wednesday by a friend of his father's

The boy had extinguished the fire with his wrist by the time his father found him.

The lighter was supposedly a child-proof type, but fire officials could not determine yesterday whether it was one of the 13 million that the federal government has ordered recalled because the safety features don't prevent young children from starting fires.

Lt. Robert Rose, a county fire spokesman, said the department is using the incident to remind parents to teach children at an early age to "stop, drop and roll" when their clothes catch fire.

Although the boy managed to extinguish the flames, "had the fire been larger, he would have had a harder time with it," Rose said.

The manufacturer of the recalled lighters is Gladstrong Investments USA of Hacienda Heights, Calif. The lighters have one of the following brand names stamped on both sides of their metal tops: "Boda-Bing," "Gil," "Happy" or "Wax." The UPC bar code number on the lighter label may be 0-80692-99930-1, 0-295114-0 or start with 7-55998.

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