Singapore baby severely burned by heat packs

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When a Singaporean mum who left her baby daughter in the care of a babysitter saw her child again, she burst into tears. Find out why and how the little girl got burned on her entire back and legs.

Heat pack burns Singapore baby

A Singaporean baby was scalded by searing hot heat packs and suffered third degree burns

Madam Farah (not her real name), a single mum, is a management trainee at an F&B company and had been entrusting her baby girl in the hands of a babysitter, Madam Mardianah. When she came home one day, she was appalled and devastated to find that her baby had suffered severe burns on her back, buttons and legs. It was a mum’s worst nightmare.

Blistering hot heat packs

On 31 October 2011, little Alya (not her real name) was in the home of Madam Mardianah as her mother was out to work. Alya was mysteriously found lying on heat packs that had just been taken out of boiling water with her skin was already badly scalded. She was then rushed to the hospital.

Madam Mardianah’s husband, Mohammad Shahrin Akbar, 31, was charged for causing grievous hurt through a negligent act as he allegedly left the searing hot heat packs on the bed to dry after taking them out of the boiling water.

Third degree burns

The damage caused the baby to suffer 35% burns on the back of her body, including her neck, upper limbs, chest, back, thigh and bottoms. Alya, Madam Farah’s only child, had to go through 12 operations and needs long-term scar management even after she was discharged on 6 January 2012.

Today, Alya knows that her scars are permanent and will follow her for the rest of her life. Madam Farah’s heart aches whenever she sees Alya touching her scars.

Commenting on the inconsistencies of the babysitters’ statements, Madam Farah explained how she just wants to know the truth so that her story might have a “happier ending”. She is currently appealing to her local MP for a review of the case, following the mere three-month sentence that the perpetrator received.

Although she is pain-stricken and heartbroken about Alya’s condition, Madam Farah is still grateful that her daughter is alive and well, recovering healthily from her accident despite the long-term scars. The family is also living well and is thankful for the support that relatives and friends have given them throughout this ordeal.

Heat packs cause third degree burn on baby in Singapore

The cooled heat pack before being boiled

A mother’s pain

In a phone interview with Madam Farah, theAsianparent spoke to her on Friday regarding her experience. The brave mum recounted the fateful incident and shared how she has been coping so far, including how she has recently returned to her job in order to support the family.

Madam Farah stressed the importance of trust and honesty in a parent’s relationship with their child’s sitter, emphasising how significant it is for babysitters to be able to relate to a working parent’s challenges. In addition, she advises parents who leave their child in the care of an external sitter to make frequent surprise visits and be observant to the child’s reactions to going to the sitter’s place.

Madam Farah continues trying her best to make the little girl feel as normal as possible. She also supports her child emotionally and psychologically, doing as much as she can to help Alya get better and feel better about her injury.

As the valiant mother fights for a more just verdict for her daughter’s case, she persists as a pillar of strength in her family, a truly resilient mum that presses on even in times of difficulty.

See how heat packs work below: