Fact Check

Spider-Man Leaves Third-Degree Burns on Child

Rumor: A young child received a third-degree burn from a faulty Spider-Man watch.

Published Feb 15, 2015

Claim:   Child received a third-degree burn from a faulty Spider-Man watch.


Example:   [Collected via email, February 2015]

I ran across this one today on facebook about a child allegedly recieving chemical burns from a spider-man watch.


Origins:   On 11 February 2015, Facebook user Melanie Crinklaw posted a message to her page claiming her friend's son had received a third-degree burn from a Spider-Man watch purchased at an outlet of the Target chain of general retail stores:

A friend of mine Karen Foster: This is the Spider-Man watch (bought from Target) Caden was wearing when he feel asleep last night. When he woke up this morning this is what we found. 3rd degree burn (the black) and 2nd degree burn around it. He just went into surgery, they have to dig out the chemical/3rd degree burn. Then they are going to apply cadaver skin over that. He is going to have to be out of school a few weeks until everything is healed, due to the high risk of infection. And possibly have another surgery later to graft his from his own skin. Feel free to share. I would have never thought something so small could turn into this.

The above-quoted Facebook message has been shared tens of thousands of times via social media and has also been posted to various web forums. Despite its widespread circulation, Melanie Crinklaw's original Facebook post is the only source of information for the subject. Karen Foster, the woman linked to in the Facebook post and the mother of the child who was allegedly burned by the Spider-Man watch, has not commented on the alleged incident.

When the viral post landed on Target's Facebook page, the company responded and said it would investigate the matter:

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. The health and safety of our guests is very important to us, and we'd like to look into this further. Please tell Karen to e-mail us at gr.socialmedia@target.com with reference number XXXXXXXX. We look forward to hearing from her.

While this Facebook post claiming a child was severely burned from wearing a watch purchased from Target has not been confirmed yet, there are several factors that seem out of place. First of all, could a child really continue sleeping while receiving a third-degree burn? Second, how is it the watch shown in the photograph does not appear to be damaged in any way despite supposedly having heated up to the point of causing such burns?

It should also be noted this story, if true, appears to be an isolated incident: as of 15 February 2015, this is the only report claiming a Spider-Man watch has caused third-degree burns.

Last updated:   15 February 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

Article Tags

Read More

a Member

Your membership is the foundation of our sustainability and resilience.


Ad-Free Browsing on Snopes.com
Members-Only Newsletter
Cancel Anytime