From Making Porridge With Mum To The Burns Unit: Kieran's Horror
As winter takes hold and we go to great lengths to keep warm, one family is using their horrifying story to warn parents and children of the dangers of burns.
Kieran, 5, was at home helping his mum with breakfast in September 2017 when he found himself screaming and in immeasurable pain.
"I was cooking my porridge," the young boy said. When he leaned too close to the stove flames, his pyjamas caught on fire, leaving him severely burnt.
Keiran and his mum Tania Nevill spoke candidly about the traumatic incident, in a video released by Kidsafe Australia.
"He panicked and just ran, and I just caught him, put the flames out and then put him in the cold shower," Tania said.
"Stop, drop and roll," Kieran piped up -- recommended first aid that would ultimately help him recover.
Kieran was flown to Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) where he spent several weeks undergoing a skin graft and physical therapy to regain feeling in his burned torso.
It's a story that is all too common for Kieran's trauma surgeon Dr Warwick Teague, who said 600 burn injuries were admitted to the burns unit at RCH alone last year.
Data from the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand shows nearly 1000 children from both countries were admitted to hospital with burns in 2016/17.
Scalds were the most common types of burns, followed by contact and flame burns.
"Each of these moments, for each of these children and families, probably began on an ordinary day ... they had no expectation of the kind of dangers and hurt that awaited them," Teague told reporters on Tuesday, at the launch of National Burns Awareness Month.
"Some of these injuries will have lifelong impacts on the health and wellbeing of these children."
For children like Kieran, the most dangerous part of the house is the kitchen, where Kidsafe Australia says about 50 percent of burn injuries occur.
"Burns in the kitchen usually occur whilst a child is near an adult preparing food or hot drinks," spokeswoman Melanie Courtney said.
It can happen so quickly. At 60 degrees, a full thickness burn can occur in just one second.
Courtney recommended parents or caregivers turn their hot water temperature down to 50 degrees, where it takes up to five minutes to cause a third-degree burn to a child's skin.
Parents are also being urged to avoid leaving hot drinks on the edge of the bench and to make sure children are always supervised.
Ambulance Victoria officer Shelly said it was important to immediately douse a burn in running water for at least 20 minutes.
"Never use ice, never use butter. If the burn is bigger than a 20-cent piece, you need to seek medical attention," she said.
Ambulance Victoria paramedics see approximately one patient a day who has suffered a burns injury. In the last week alone, Shelly has seen several children being burnt by hot bottles of milk and hot noodles.
"When you come across a burn in a child, your heart just breaks. The pain is excruciating," she said.
"There are so many things you can do so you don't end up in hospital."
Featured image: Supplied