Campfire Burns Boy’s Feet
Campfire coals covered by sand on Queensland beach burn feet of 6yo boy
Posted on 27.09.2018
A six-year-old boy has suffered horrific burns to his feet after stepping on smouldering coals from an abandoned campfire that was covered with sand on a beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
Warning: This story contains images that may be distressing for some readers.
Kai Dight and his eight-year-old sister Indi had been with their father at a popular camping spot on Teewah Beach north of Noosa, on Sunday, when he stepped into the hidden fire pit.
His screams drew help from people at a neighbouring camp site, where an off-duty paramedic soaked and dressed his burns as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
The boy was rushed to the Noosa Hospital, where he was met by his mother Crista Dight, who later drove him to the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane to be admitted to the burns unit.
Ms Dight told the ABC on Wednesday afternoon that her son was more concerned about his camping trip being cut short than the burns, but still suffered a painful ordeal.
“He’s not too bad today, he had a really bad night last night — he was in a lot of pain all night,” she said.
“He’s annoyed that he can’t go camping and can’t swim or do the things he wants to do.”
Kai has been confined to a wheelchair during his treatment and will need to ensure the burns do not affect the way he walks or moves during his recovery.
He went into surgery on Wednesday so doctors could scrub the wounds and found a particularly deep burn that could require a skin graft.
Fires extinguished with sand can retain heat up to 100 degrees
Professor Roy Kimble, who heads the burns unit at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, said last year alone the unit treated 64 children for burns from outdoor fires — 51 of those were caused by hot coals or ashes.
“More than 90 per cent were under nine years of age,” Professor Roy Kimble said.
He said people wrongly believed fires could be put out with dirt or sand.
“While the flames may be out, fires extinguished with sand can retain heat up to 100 degrees Celsius for eight hours after the flames are no longer visible,” he said.
“It only takes one second of contact with a campfire to acquire very deep burns.
“But it can take months, if not years, of intensive therapy to reduce scarring and regain mobility in severely burnt limbs.”
He said a 10-litre bucket of water would have cooled the fire down within 10 minutes.
First aid tips for burns
- Stop, drop and roll if their clothes are on fire.
- Smother any flames with water or a coat/blanket made of natural fibres and call triple zero.
- Apply cool running water to the affected area for at least 20 minutes.
- Cover the burn with a clean dressing, sheet, non-fluffy tea towel or plastic wrap.
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