Toddler burns feet on backyard deck, health experts warn of extremely hot temperatures

Georgia News

Warning: This report contains a graphic photo that might be unsettling for some viewers.

EVANS, G.A. (WJBF) – A Georgia mother says her 15-month-old burned his feet while playing on their deck.
Now, she’s warning other parents about the dangers of hot surfaces outside.

It started off as a normal day playing outside on the deck for Alexander Wall, but ended with a trip to the E.R and second-degree burns to his feet.

“They’re nice and clean today, because they just changed them,” said Krystal Wall. Alexander’s mother.

15-month-old Alexander Wall is now back to crawling around instead of walking.

“He adapted pretty quickly to figuring out that he could crawl,” said Wall.

That’s after he burned his feet walking barefoot on the backyard deck.

“He didn’t cry, he wasn’t really fussy, it took about 20 minutes and then he started fussing,” she said.

Alexander was with his babysitter that day. She didn’t know what was wrong with him until she looked at his feet.

“He was probably screaming for a good couple of hours,” said Wall.

Alexander got 2nd degree burns. His mother took him to Doctors’ hospital. Where doctors from the burn unit had him scheduled for surgery the next day.

“And they did a debridement and placed some skin over top of it and a bunch of dressings,” she said.

Alexander is in recovery now and should be back to normal in a week or so. Beretta Coffman is the Chief Clinical Officer of the Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America. She says it’s common for younger children to burn their hands feet and the backs of their legs on asphalt, patios and even playground equipment.

“During the summer months those surface become extremely hot, even on a 75 degree day those surfaces can exceed 125 degrees in temperature and that will burn a child,” said Coffman.

Coffman says it easier for children to burn themselves on those types of surfaces because their skin isn’t as thick as an adult’s. They also have a slower reaction.

“So if you as an adult were to step on a hot surface you very quickly move away. In a 15-month-old they often become very stunned and they don’t know what to do,” she said.

Coffman says most children will experience 2nd degree burns and sometimes even 3rd degree in extremely hot temperatures.

“Often those burns will look red in the beginning, but then will begin to blister and once those blisters have been removed the burn surface is very pink raw and painful,” she said.

But there are ways to prevent this from happening.

“A good rule of thumb is if you can put your hand on that surface and do a slow count to 5 then its probably safe for a child,” said Coffman.

Dr. Coffman says if your child does get a surface burn it’s best to not try and treat with home remedies like mustard or Aloe Vera, until after they’ve been checked by a physician. She also says not to try and treat burns with cold water or ice.


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