A MUM whose toddler suffered third degree burns which left his skin coming off ''in handfuls" is warning other parents not to make her mistake.
Little Arthur was just two when he climbed onto a stool at home and pulled a freshly made cafetière from the kitchen side onto himself.
His mum, Laura Hitchins, 34, recalled her son's burns looking like "something from a horror film".
"His skin was just melting off," she explained.
The devastating incident happened on April 9 2019 when Laura was preparing for a visit from her mum, Jenny, 63.
After hearing Arthur's screams, Laura rushed back to find her son covered in steaming coffee.
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The mum-of-three ripped off his hoodie – the NHS advises to not remove any clothing that is stuck to burnt skin – and carried him to the garden to soak him under the cold tap before calling 999.
"His skin was coming off in my hands and I could instantly see that he was burnt, on one side, from the top of his ear right down to his thigh," she said.
The paramedics arrived at their Strethham home 33 minutes later and rushed the tot to Addenbrooke Hospital, Cambridge.
Medics soon broke the news Arthur would need to be operated on.
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On April 10, the tot underwent an initial three-and-a-half debridement surgery to remove the dead and injured skin which proved successful.
However, just three days later he caught an infection and required a further skin graft operation for his front thigh with medics using healthy skin from the back of his thigh.
After 10 days in hospital, little Arthur – who is now a "cheeky" seven years old who loves Mario and Fireman Sam – was able to go home.
Laura, said: "I just really want to make sure this doesn't happen to other families.
''These accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and it's very scary.
"Even though I did everything I did to prevent it, both me and my parents struggled emotionally, mentally and physically due to the extent of Arthur's injuries.
"I also felt a lot of guilt because I made the coffee."
Four years later, the little boy has made an "amazing recovery" but things are not entirely back to normal.
His skin needs to be lathered in cream several times and his new skin is very sensitive.
"Even now, he can't use his nails as the skin is delicate, so he uses the palm of his hand and that’s now normal to him," Laura said.
After going through the trauma, Laura advises all parents and carers, who drink hot drinks but have young children, to always used a lidded cup.
Preventing burns and scalds
Many severe burns and scalds affect babies and young children.
The NHS says there are a number of things you can do to help reduce the likelihood of your child having a serious accident:
- keep your child out of the kitchen whenever possible
- test the temperature of bath water using your elbow before you put your baby or toddler in the bath
- keep matches, lighters and lit candles out of young children's sight and reach
- keep hot drinks well away from young children
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To treat a first-degree burn, the NHS recommends the following tips:
- immediately get the person away from the heat source to stop the burning
- cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes – don't use ice, iced water, or any creams or greasy substances such as butter
- remove any clothing or jewellery that's near the burnt area of skin, including babies' nappies – but don't move anything that's stuck to the skin
- make sure the person keeps warm – by using a blanket, for example, but take care not to rub it against the burnt area
- cover the burn by placing a layer of cling film over it – a clean plastic bag could also be used for burns on your hands
- use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat any pain
- if the face or eyes are burnt, sit up as much as possible, rather than lying down – this helps to reduce swelling
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