Affectionate toddler receives harsh lesson in fire awareness

Eleanor Breen suffered second degree burns when she hugged a backyard fire pit on Easter Sunday.
Eleanor Breen suffered second degree burns when she hugged a backyard fire pit on Easter Sunday.

A BACKYARD campfire ended in disaster after a split-second decision saw little Eleanor Breen end up at the emergency department.

The Mackay family watched on in horror when their 22-month-old baby decided to hug their backyard fire pit on Easter Sunday.

Eleanor's mum, Leigh Breen, said Eleanor was going through a phase of "hugging everything".

"We were sitting right next to her and she slipped out of her chair and it happened in a split second," she said.

"Dad was sitting right next to her and he grabbed her and that is what saved her chest from being burnt but it was too late for her arms."

Eleanor was transferred to the Townsville University Hospital for a skin graft on her upper right arm.

Eleanor Breen suffered second degree burns after hugging a backyard fire pit that required a skin graph at the Townsville University Hospital.
Eleanor Breen suffered second degree burns after hugging a backyard fire pit that required a skin graph at the Townsville University Hospital.

Townsville University Hospital statistics show that in April this year, 19 children went to the emergency department with burns, compared to 12 in April last year.

Ms Breen said the incident had scarred the whole family.

"It is every parent's worst nightmare having an injured baby in hospital," she said.

"Eleanor's older brother Lewis has been very worried about her, Dad was heartbroken and my mum is a bit traumatised because we were Facetiming her and she saw the whole thing."

June is National Burns Awareness month, which encourages greater awareness of burns prevention and the correct first aid treatment for burns.

Ms Breen said it was important to be aware of fire risks.

"We have always had campfires and we love to camp and we take fire safety very seriously and the children are always supervised," she said.

"We just didn't factor in a two-year-old being silly and we should have had a physical barrier, in hindsight."

Originally published as Affectionate toddler receives harsh lesson in fire awareness



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