Not all that glitters is gold … nor is it safe, apparently. In a true 21st-century nightmare, a 9-year-old girl has been left with a what may be a permanent scar in the shape of an iPhone 5c as a result of a chemical burn from her glittery phone case. While the liquid floating around inside the protective covering just looked like another aesthetically pleasing feature of the unicorn-and-rainbow case, Olivia Retter and her mother Karly found out the hard way that it was far more insidious.
According to a now-deleted Facebook post about the incident, Karly Retter explained that her daughter secretly snuck her iPhone into her room during bedtime (she’s normally not allowed access) and apparently fell asleep with the case-clad smartphone touching her bare leg. Hours later, Olivia awoke to complain of leg pain, but thinking nothing of it, her mother sent her back to bed. “Then in the morning I saw this awful burn on her leg — I was so shocked a phone case could do that,” Retter wrote in a Facebook post that was shared over 40,000 times before it was deleted. “Doctors have said it is a severe chemical burn and she will be scarred for life. I can’t believe it – she will have a scar in the shape of a phone on her leg.”
Apparently, the liquid inside the case has toxic properties that caused the severe burns on Olivia’s leg, which is made all the more concerning by the apparent absence of any sort of safety warning on the case itself. “Imagine if it had leaked when Olivia was on the phone or holding it to her face — it could have gone on her face or her eyes,” her mother wrote. “You just don’t think something like that could happen. A lot of young girls have similar phone cases and they have no idea how dangerous they are.”
This actually isn’t the first time such an incident has been reported. Last November, a New Zealand woman reported that leakage out of a similar case caused second degree burns on her bum. But apparently, the risk is just as prevalent now as it was several months ago.