A small boy has been left with swollen, pink and blistered feet after running over a beach fire that had been extinguished with sand.
Kai Dight, 6, didn’t see the patch of sand that was still burning hot from a recently extinguished campfire on Teewah Beach, north of Noosa Heads in Queensland.
He is now in Children’s Health Queensland and Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
Kai Dight, 6, is in Children’s Health Queensland and Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital after suffering burns to his feet
Kai has had multiple surgeries on his feet, with doctors removing dead or damaged skin on the six-year-old’s feet
He’s already had multiple surgeries on both his tiny feet.
Doctors have removed the dead and damaged skin, but they still don’t know if he will require skin grafts.
Kai has been ‘super brave’, his mum Crista Dight said in a Facebook post.
He is ‘being a trooper, but it will be a long road for him, she said.
His mother has a warning for campers: ‘Don’t use sand to cover up your campfires.’
‘Hopefully one positive to come out of this is the awareness that you cannot cover a fire with sand, it doesn’t put it out, it retains heat and makes it difficult to see on the beach.’
Roy Kimble, director of burns and trauma, said it was a common misconception that campfires could be properly extinguished with sand or dirt.
Kai (pictured) was in Noosa Hospital before being transported to the Children’s Health Queensland and Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital
Roy Kimble, director of burns and trauma, said it was a common misconception that campfires could be properly extinguished with sand or dirt
Kai has been ‘super brave’, his mum Crista Dight said. He has been a ‘trooper’ throughout the horrible experience
‘While the flames may be out, fires extinguished with sand can retain heat up to 100 degrees Celsius for eight hours after the flames are no longer visible,’ he said.
‘It only takes one second of contact with a campfire to acquire very deep burns, but it can take months, if not years, of intensive therapy to reduce scarring and regain mobility in severely burnt limbs.’
He urged everyone to be vigilant about safety, especially while young children are around.
Crista Daight has warning to campers: Don’t use sand to extinguish fires. Her son, Kai (pictured) suffered serious burns to his feet after running along a beach in Queensland
He said the safest way to extinguish a campfire was to saturate it with at least 10 litres of water.
‘This will cool a fire to a safe temperature in just 10 minutes,’ he said.
The most effective first aid treatment for a burn is to place the injured area under cool running water for 20 minutes and seek medical treatment immediately by phoning 000.
FIRE SAFETY ADVICE
Do not light or maintain a camp fire on dry, windy days
Use water, not sand, which retains heat and can cause severe burns
Ensure your camp fire is at least 3 metres away from tents
Completely extinguish all fires before going to bed or leaving your camp site unattended
Source: Queensland Government
‘While it is ideal to apply first aid immediately, if running water is not available at the scene, it is still beneficial to apply cool running water up to three hours after the injury,’ he said.
In 2017, Children’s Health Queensland and Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital treated 64 children for burns from outdoor fires, with 51 of those injuries caused by glowing coals or ashes rather than flames.
Almost one quarter of those injuries required surgery and more than 90 percent were under nine years of age.
The rural fire service in Queensland advises against using sand to extinguish fires as sand retains heat.