A Queensland mum is warning of the dangers of hot surfaces in parks after her toddler suffered second-degree burns on her feet.
Simone Pickering says she was just metres away when her barefoot 18-month-old’s panicked screams alerted her to the ‘scorching hot’ metal plate she was standing on at Ipswich River Heart Parklands, near a splash and play water park.
“Our daughter just happened to walk a short distance from where myself and family were sitting to find herself paralysed stranding on one of these scorching HOT metal plates unable to move due to the intensity of the heat below,” Simone explained in a Facebook post.
“In seconds the damage had been done! We instinctively tried to get her feet into cool water, only to have her hysterically screaming and needing extra care. This was NO minor incident. The drive to the hospital was the most horrific, heartbreaking 10 minutes of my life to date.
“To hear the unbearable pain your child is in and not be able to soothe her or take it away messes with your head – pushing you to dig deep and find strength. Watching her tiny little body lying limp on the hospital bed with cords and tubes running everywhere crippled me.”
The emotional mum says it would have made sense for her daughter to wear shoes if it was a ‘cracking hot day’, but says it was 25-28 degrees, and there were children everywhere running around without footwear.
Simone says her emotion over the incident has now turned to anger. “Angry to hear that this type of burn is common. That each year children are admitted to Lady Cilento Children’s hospital after stepping on council-owned grids/pits in local parks!
“Angry that even after a full recovery our daughter will never truly know what is normal feeling in her feet as she won’t have any prior memories to draw upon being that she’s only 18-months-old. Angry that we’ve had to travel to and from the hospital every couple of days to have her feet re-dressed watching the nurses pump three lots of painkillers into her little body to try and take the edge off the pain.”
Simone says she’s not looking for pity, but rather to raise awareness of the issue. “I do not want this happening to any other child if I can help it.”
A spokesperson from Ipswich City Council told Mum’s Grapevine that this was the first reported incident of this type at River Heart Parklands.
“After hours staff attended the park and the following morning erected a safety barrier around the pit cover. Water parks will always need service pits and as this one is not located in the immediate vicinity of the water play area it may not have been identified as a potential hazard in safety audits.
“The pit cover has since been coated with a heavy paving paint that has reduced its temperature. As additional measure inspections have been carried out in other water parks for potentially similar situations. Council urges parents of young children to be mindful of the risk of all exposed surfaces being hot during summer.”
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Simone wants other parents to learn from her harrowing ordeal, just like these other mums who have shared their stories as warnings: