Girls get second-degree burns from everyday fruit we all have in our kitchens

So first I wrote about an entire family dying after inhaling the toxic fumes of rotten potatoes and I thought that was strange. But now I get to tell you about the second-degree burns five little girls in California suffered thanks to a common fruit found in pretty much every kitchen in the world.

What is it with these crazy incidents caused by everyday foods?


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It the case of Stephanie Ellwanger's daughters, it all started two weeks ago when she took the 12- and 9-year-old girls together with three of their friends to her mom's house for a pool party. Everything seemed to be going perfectly well, with the girls coming in an out of the water for about five hours as they enjoyed a sunny summer day.

But when they got home, Ellwanger noticed the area around her daughters' mouths was red. She figured they'd gotten too much sun and didn't really pay much attention to it. By the morning after, the redness had turned into blisters and by the following day, at least one of the girls couldn't speak because her lips were extremely swollen. 

Soon blisters were popping out on other areas and Ellwanger found out that her daughter's friends were going through the same pain and suffering. At the hospital, the girls were diagnosed with second-degree burns and were admitted to the intensive care unit where they spent several days hooked to a machine that pumped morphine for the pain. 

When doctors told Ellwanger that the girls' burns were consistent with chemical burns caused by acid, It took the mom a while, but she finally figured out that the culprit was a lime tree in her mom's backyard. Apparently, the girls had picked some of the limes and they had played with them smashing them and letting the juice hit their legs and faces.

While extremely uncommon, the combination of lime juice and sun exposure can be extremely damaging on bare skin and that's exactly what happened to these poor girls. Luckily, they've all left the hospital and are recovering from their burns, but they've been prohibited from going outdoors while the sun is out for at least six months.

Limes are a staple in my kitchen, not only do we love to make lemonade, but the fruit is the main ingredient in many of the Peruvian and Latino dishes I like to make. But it's not until learning about this story that I realize how dangerous limes can be. 

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: children  children's health  tragedy  burns