A 7-year-old boy was hospitalized with rare, yet severe burns caused by wet cement.
According to a newly published study in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, the child was exposed to the substance while a family member was mixing and pouring cement at a residence. At one point during the process, the boy accidentally walked under the cement dispenser, and got the substance on various parts of his body. The child began experiencing a burning sensation and skin redness later that day, prompting his family to take him to the emergency room, where he underwent a partial decontamination with polyethylene glycol.
The 7-year-old was ultimately transferred to Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center for further evaluation. Physicians determined he had first-degree chemical burns on his head, neck, and torso, caused by the high pH in wet concrete mix. The authors of the study noted that such injuries are rarely seen in children, as it is adults who typically work with the substance that are exposed to it. They also pointed out that alkaline burns due to wet cement are not immediately recognized; this is because it usually takes about six hours after exposure before the burns become apparent.
Although these types of injuries can be prevented or alleviated through water or polyethylene glycol washes, there have been severe cases that required surgery.
“Fortunately, the patient involved in this case was decontaminated early enough and no surgical intervention was required,” the study read.
The 7-year-old boy was discharged from the hospital shortly after his arrival and has since made a full recovery.