A baby suffered horrific burns to his head, arms and hands after falling head first onto a red-hot heater while playing hide and seek.
Kaidan Talbot’s parents Zane Talbot and Stacey Cleaver watched in horror as their baby boy tripped over the wood fire’s hearth and fell in the home in Launceston, Tasmania.
Before they could scoop him up out of harms way, Kaidan instinctively pushed himself off the scalding metal with both arms, burning them too.
Kaidan suffered burns to five per cent of his body in the accident on May 1 and still can’t open his right hand while the skin grafts heal.
It was Kaidan’s first birthday the day after the accident and his parents said he spent eight hours of the day screaming in agony.
Kaidan Talbot (pictured) suffered horrific burns to his head, arms and hands after falling head first on to a red-hot heater while playing hide and seek
Kaidan (pictured in the bath) suffered burns to five per cent of his body in the May 1 accident
Kaidan is pictured with his mum Stacey Cleaver (right). Ms Cleaver used her first aid training to treat her son’s serious burns while calling an ambulance to rush him to hospital
Ms Cleaver said she was just five metres away across the lounge room during the bedtime game when her worst fear as a parent was realised.
‘He likes to play hide and seek with us before he goes to bed every night and he started running over to the fire near where his toys are,’ she said.
‘I told him no but it was too late and he tripped over the hearth, slipped, and fell head first on to the heater.
‘Within seconds, Zane had him in his arms and we ran to the bathroom and held him under cold water for 20 minutes until the ambulance arrived.’
Ms Cleaver used her first aid training to treat her son’s serious burns while calling an ambulance to rush him to hospital.
‘We could see the blisters starting to peel as soon as we pulled him away, so we knew it was bad,’ she said.
Pictured: The wood heater inside the family’s Launceston home
It was Kaidan’s first birthday the day after the accident and his parents said he spent eight hours of the day screaming in agony
The one-year-old still can’t open his right hand while the skin grafts heal. Pictured: His injuries
Kaidan spent his first birthday on May 2 in hospital, screaming for eight hours straight that night, before he was flown to Hobart for burns treatment.
Ms Cleaver said she took responsibility for her son’s injury as the fire did not have a guard in place because the young couple couldn’t afford one.
‘It was the scariest thing I’ve ever gone through, I felt like what have I done to my kid,’ she said.
‘As a parent it’s your worst fear and you try to do everything you can to protect your kids.’
Ms Cleaver pleaded with parents to buy a fire guard to prevent similar accidents happening to their own children.
Kaidan is pictured sleeping after the accident at his family’s Launceston home in May
Kaidan spent his first birthday on May 2 in hospital, screaming for eight hours straight that night, before he was flown to Hobart for burns treatment
Kaidan (right) is pictured with his father Zane Talbot (left)
‘My dad is a firefighter and I’ve worked in childcare for 12 years so I should have known better,’ she said.
‘He usually doesn’t go near the fire and we only lit it 20 minutes earlier because it was almost his bedtime.
‘It was so freezing in here he was shaking so we thought we would light it and by the time he was in bed he would be warm.
Pictured: Injury to Kaidan’s hand and arm after he fell
‘Now people are saying we don’t deserve to have him. People are so quick to judge and it’s been really hard for me.’
Kaidan spent four weeks in hospital in Hobart away from his father and will need more surgeries to repair the damage to his right hand.
But after the agony of his first night, Ms Cleaver said her son was doing well and only seemed to be in pain immediately after surgeries.
‘He’s been a little champ, most days he’s his happy little bubbly self, he hasn’t lost his smile. He adapted to using both hands to scoop his toys up and then grab it with his mouth,’ she said.
‘He’s eating and drinking by himself now which is great because he was hating that I’d have the feed him and wasn’t allowed out of his cot for two weeks.’
The Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand recorded 906 children under 15 being admitted to burns units in in 2018-19.