Hot weather dangers right under your feet



Posted on July 8, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

SEATTLE - The heat can be the hardest on those too young to understand it. A West Seattle family is learning that lesson the hard way after their toddler suffered third-degree burns.

During the summer, there are places we naturally gravitate to, such as the deck or the patio at our home. But in this weather that can be the last place you want your child to be.

"It's fine. It's totally touchable," says Melissa Brown as she reaches down and puts her hand on her back deck. "My daughter is on it with bare feet right now," she says Thursday evening as the deck is under complete shade.

But yesterday afternoon at the hottest part of the day, when the deck is in full son,15-month-old Campbell Wood was with a babysitter, who let him stand barefoot on the deck for just a few minutes.

"He started screaming and the babysitter rushed out there to pick him up and wasn't sure what had happened," says Brown.

Campbell had burns on both feet, third-degree burns on his left. Sitting in the emergency room, it brought tears to his mother's eyes too.

"It was really hard to look at. It was really hard to have a baby screaming in your arms yesterday as they pulled away all the blistering," says his mother.

While adults can heed warnings about the warm temperatures, it's different for young children.

Another big danger is that in this weather all too often kids fall out of screen windows from a second floor or higher. Emergency room doctors say parents need to be on the lookout.

"Think about what would the child see that could be interesting to them," says Dr. Tony Woodward, Emergency Room Chief at Children's Hospital. "So if the window is open and there's a chair near by or a desk something they can climb up on they will climb up on it. It will feel better to them, they'll be close to the window and that's when they have the risk of falling out."

Doctors say if you think keeping an eye on your kids is tough. What's even tougher, is trying to explain away the pain.

"My 15-month-old who you can't explain to what is going on is screaming bawling because he hurt so bad. It hurts you it hurts you to the core," says Brown.