The 16-month-old suffered fourth-degree burns after sticking his hand inside the vacuum. His mum has this warning for other parents.
Vacuums are familiar household objects used almost daily, but even they can be safety hazards when you have curious toddlers in the home. Jade Bishop, a British mum, hopes to warn all other parents about vacuum cleaner dangers after her 16-month-old suffered serious burns.
Mum shares warning about vacuum cleaner dangers after toddler suffers fourth degree burns
In a Facebook post, which has been shared over 10,000 times, Bishop recalls how her vacuum cleaner inflicted fourth degree burns on her “inquisitive” toddler Theo’s hand.
“He loves to follow me around while I vacuum up the house,” she wrote, adding how he sometimes even helps her.
“So I turn the vacuum off and turn my back to unplug it from the wall,” continues the mum, “I hear Theo turn it back on, turn my head to hear him screaming. I yank the plug from the wall and he has managed to put his thumb in the bottom of the vacuum where the bristles spin at a crazy speed.”
All of this in just about five seconds!
“Please do not let your children near vacuum cleaners!” she implores in the Facebook post, writing how she found out just how common these types of injuries are.
These types of burns are extremely severe, and warrant immediate medical attention. While third degree burns expose the fat or tissue of the skin’s inner layer, fourth degree burns can expose up to the deep muscle tissues or even tendons and bones.
So you can just imagine the horror this mum experienced seeing the deep burns on her son’s little hand.
Plastic surgeons and burn specialists told Bishop her son might need skin grafts. What’s more, there would also be the risk of restricted movement as he grows up. However, some of those who suffer severe burns don’t experience too much pain because of extensive nerve damage.
Vacuum cleaner dangers: how to keep accidents from happening in the home
It’s been nearly a year since the scary accident, and we managed to get in touch with Jade Bishop to find out how she and her little one are doing.
“He’s really well. He had quite bad scarring as half of his skin graft actually failed,” she tells theAsianparent when asked about the condition of her son, who is now two years old.
The incident also taught her to be more careful and aware of hazards in the home.
“I’ve learnt that there are thousands of cases of the same nature as ours every year, all across the world, I have had many messages and another big cause of friction burn is a treadmill!” she recalls.
“I’ve learnt that you can never be too careful when it comes to little ones,” she urges. “I was always a safety conscious mum before but now I am even worse; I see the danger in everything.”
Aside from watching out for vacuum cleaner dangers, here’s how you can keep your kids safe from burning and scalding accidents in the home:
- Store matchsticks and lighters out of the reach of children, on a high shelf or in a locked cabinet.
- Minimise the use of table cloths, which can easily be pulled by your little one. Use placemats instead. Be extra careful around hot liquids or food.
- Avoid letting your children into the kitchen while you are cooking. Turn the handles of pots and pans inward when left on the stove.
- Ensure your children are in a safe playpen or under the watchful eye of a trusted relative or caregiver when cooking.
- Make use of thermos flasks with safely sealed child-proof caps to avoid spilling of hot liquids.
- Chemical burns can also happen, mums and dads! Keep chemicals like household cleaning products and solutions out of reach.
- When ironing clothes (or your hair!), make sure that your child isn’t in close proximity. After ironing, stow the iron away in a place out of your child’s reach. Remember the mum whose child was burned by a hair straightening iron after it was already unplugged?
- If you’re preparing to bathe your little one, make sure not to let your child out of your sight when the water is still too hot.
Most importantly, make sure your spouse and your child’s caregivers know about these important safety tips!
It’s always best to be extra careful, mums! Because sometimes the scariest hazards in your home are hiding in plain sight.