Watching cartoons led girl, 6, to play with fire and burn herself, mother says

The pupil of a play group is fighting for her life at the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery in Dhaka

Published : 31 March 2024, 09:49 PM
Updated : 31 March 2024, 09:49 PM

A 6-year-old girl in Gazipur has allegedly set herself on fire after being misled by cartoons she watched online, her mother has said.

The incident occurred at the home of the mother’s parents in the Harinal area of the city last Wednesday.

The girl, Rafia Muntaha, a play group pupil, was transferred to the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery in a critical condition on Saturday.

The institute’s resident surgeon Md Tarikul Islam said Rafia burnt 12 percent of her body surface.

“She is in a serious condition,” said the institute’s Assistant Director Hossain Imam.

Rafia lives with her father SM Mahmudul Hasan, a pharmacist, and mother Zinnat Jahan in the Uttar Chhayabithhi area of Gazipur.

Zinnat told reporters on Sunday that Rafia watches cartoons on smartphones and TV.

“She saw cartoon characters setting themselves on fire and then putting it out. Without realising the dangers, she put a corner of her cotton dress on the stove, but could not douse the fire,” the mother said.

“As the fire engulfed her, people at home doused it, but the fire burnt a significant part of her body.”

Rafia was first taken to Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmad Medical College Hospital and then transferred to Dhaka.