By Jos Weale
A horrified mum feared her daughter had MENINGITIS after a Wilko bath bomb allegedly caused a gruesome rash all over her body.
Single mum-of-three Leanne Keating claims 10-year-old daughter Tia was left with an angry, itchy rash which developed five days after using the Wilko bath bomb.
Although Tia has since been given the all-clear by doctors, Leanne, 27, said she initially thought her girl’s itchy reaction – which is still plaguing her a month later – was meningitis.
And Leanne said Tia’s horrific red blotches have had such a devastating impact on her self-esteem she has refused to go to school for three weeks for fear of bullying.
A spokesman for Wilko said this was the first instance of a complaint about the ‘popular’ product, but said the matter was being investigated urgently.
Stay-at-home mum Leanne, from Abergale, North Wales, said: “Tia had a bath with the bath bomb the day I bought it.
“She’d never used a bath bomb before and wanted to try one. Five days later she said ‘mum, look at this’, and showed me this rash.
“I was worried. We got to my mum’s later and she told me it looked like meningitis. We did the test with a glass and it didn’t go away so we rushed her straight to hospital.
“The rash started off on her tummy, and it’s moved up to her neck, it’s on her face, a bit of her arms and between her thighs now as well.
“It just keeps getting worse. Her skin is really itchy. It’s really affecting her self-esteem. She just won’t come out of her bedroom, she’s really low about it.
“She’s too embarrassed to go to Morris Dancing or school in case she gets picked on about it.”
Leanne said she bought the 95p passionfruit and melon ‘Fruits’ product from Wilko’s Rhyl branch on Jan 6 as a treat for Tia, who had never used a bath bomb before, and the 10-year-old used it the same night before telling her mum about the rash on January 11.
When Tia was rushed to Glan Clywd Hospital in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire the same day over the meningitis scare Leanne was told she had suffered a severe skin reaction to the product and the 10-year-old was sent home a few hours later.
But Leanne claims almost one month later despite treating the rash with a prescribed cream it is getting worse and worse, and is now having a devastating impact on her little girl’s life.
Leanne, who is also mum to sons Calloway, two, and Gilly, five, said: “It’s much worse now. It’s spread to her face, arms and between her thighs now. It’s dark, it doesn’t look like a normal rash.
“I’ve taken her to the doctor’s and the chemists, and they’ve given us cream, but it isn’t working.
“We took her into school when it happened and showed the headmaster, and he told her to come back in when she is feeling better.
“I’ve had to go the school to bring work home for her to do so that she’s not missing out on school work as well.”
The worried mum said Wilko should ensure there are warnings on their bath bomb products.
Leanne said: “I didn’t know it was the bath bomb at first. But a friend of mine who is medically trained asked me if Tia had got anything for Christmas that she’s used that was different.
“The only thing she’d used that was different was the bath bomb. She’d had a bath with it, she only used half. At the time it stained her hands purple.
“She doesn’t have sensitive skin, there were no warnings or anything on the label, it just said to keep away from babies.
“I’d say people shouldn’t use these bath bombs, even if you don’t have sensitive skin. The labelling should have a warning.”
A spokesman for Wilko confirmed they were investigating the complaint but said the product had passed all relevant testing including a cosmetic product safety assessment.
The spokesman said: “Customer safety is paramount at Wilko. This is the first such incident on and all relevant safety tests have been passed but nevertheless we have launched an immediate and rigorous investigation and continue to liaise with the customer and will respond fully as soon as possible.”