As parents, it is our responsibility to take care of our children and to make sure they stay safe wherever they are. Even when going to the beach, most parents never forget to bring sunscreen, bathing suits, life jackets and parasols for their children. Unfortunately, even with the all safety precautions that we have taken, sometimes accidents can creep in in the times we least expect of them. That was what happened to Katja Kafling whose son ended up with bloody feet when playing on the beach.
It began like any other typical trip to the beach.
Katja and her husband were spending a day relaxing on the beach while their 3-year-old son, Jacob, was playing happily in the sand, somewhere outside Roskilde in Denmark
A moment later, Jacob cried and his feet were covered with blood! Katja and her husband quickly rushed to the emergency room, panicking as Jacob’s feet were burned so badly that the skin peeled off.
Turned out, Jacob had walked straight into the fire pit which had not been properly extinguished.
The burning pit, full of still glowing pieces of coal and wood was hidden under the cool sand, most probably from a fire that had been lit the night before
According to Dr. Marianne Cinat from UCI’s Regional Burn Centre, most people would use sand to extinguish a fire but this practice actually brings an opposite effect. “Sand locks in heat, making smoldering coals even hotter,” she said.
Jacob’s burn injuries were so severe that doctors considered amputating his toes.
Luckily, a group of skilled surgeons managed to transplant skin from his other parts of the body to replace the burned skin of his feet
After a year of countless hospital visits and rehabilitation, Jacob who now has turned 7 years old is a happy and active boy but he has to live with permanent scars on his feet
The family knows that the person who did not extinguish the fire properly did not deliberately do it to cause harm to other people. It was most likely that the person did not aware such fire could cause dangers to the unsuspecting public.
Hence, that was why Katja felt that it was crucial for her to share the story to warn others about the hidden dangers on the beach. The next time you lit a fire on the beach, make sure to put it out with water instead of covering it with sand.
While Jacob may be lucky to not have his feet amputated, others who accidentally step on the fire might not have the same luck as him.