I am writing this post as a warning to all parents. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much money you earn, how many children you have or how safe you think your house is. If you put a hot drink anywhere that a baby could possibly reach, even if you think they can’t, you are putting your baby at risk.
This weekend was definitely one of our worst ever. Sunday I spent the evening first trying to cool down the scalded arm of my 11 month old. Then driving him to A&E screaming in his carseat. Followed by having to pin him down so the doctors and nurses could check him over and dress his wound.
Yes we have had our fair share of A&E visits, ambulance rides, kids with broken bits, skin needing stitches, concussions, dislocated joints even the odd nail in the foot and those days were awful too. But none of those things were our fault. Sunday evening was our fault.
We are always extra, extra careful with hot drinks and there was only a split second of misjudgement but that was enough for O to grab hold of my cup of tea, a freshly made one, and scald his hand and arm.
Even though O has never been able to reach back on the arm of our sofa my cup usually gets put on the table to cool a little just in case. This time my cup was right next to me on the arm, it had been there less than 30 seconds. Another few seconds and I would have realised and moved it. It was already too late. O grabbed at it and it tipped down over him.
As soon as I heard his scream I went into First Aider auto pilot mode.
I grabbed him, ran to the kitchen and ran the cold tap over his arm to cool his pyjamas and vest before we quickly took them off. I then stood there with him wrapped in just a towel for over 20 minutes to take the heat out of his arm. To calm him down I was standing on my tippy toes so he could nurse on and off. This really helped. I also gave him Ibuprofen to ease the pain.
Even though he screamed all the way there, it wasn’t until I was actually turning into the hospital car park that it finally sank in what had happened and I had to choke back the tears. We were lucky to go straight in to A&E and as soon as the nurse asked what happened the flood gates opened and I could barely get my words out.
Initially they used a dressing that smelled like tea tree oil, this seemed to help a lot and even though he was still upset he wasn’t screaming so badly. When the doctor took this off after about 10 minutes she looked at his arm and said it was looking really good considering. I think it could have been much worse but a few things helped save him. He had a long sleeve vest and long sleeved pyjamas on, both were quite fitted. We also don’t have a kettle but one of those hot water dispensers. The drinks aren’t quite as hot and seem to cool down quicker than kettle water.
The final dressing was a few layers thick, there was a really oily mesh first, then some padding before being wrapped in bandage. It took four of us to hold him still and dress his arm, let’s just say he was less than impressed! We were told to get the bandage removed no later than Tuesday.
It was already way past his bedtime when we left so he fell asleep quite quickly and even though he cried with pain he stayed asleep most of the night. He has also slept much more during the day. I guess his body is trying to get over the shock.
I have to honest here, I really didn’t want to write this post in case I was judged to be a bad mother, but I have shared so much with you all about our lives, it made me feel like I was hiding some shameful secret if I didn’t. But I also needed to get this out there, I wanted you all to think about where you put your hot drinks. Are they really as safe as they could be?
We’ve been having children for 13 years. O is our fifth child and the first one this has ever happened to, never even had a near miss before. The doctor in A&E said they see it all the time so I guess we pushed our luck too far and it finally ran out.
Have you had this, or something similar happen in your family? I hope I have made you all make a little risk assessment about where you keep your hot drinks x