When we think about preventing burns, the potential hazards that come to mind are usually fire and heat sources such as stovetops, boiling water, hot food or drink and anything with a flame.
But friction can also create painful burns as Mum of three, Bianca, discovered.
Bianca is sharing her story about the seemingly unlikely source of her one year old daughter Daisy’s friction burn in the hope that it will prevent other families experiencing similar incidents.
Meet Daisy, a happy little girl with an inquisitive mind.
Bianca was in the garage folding clothes while her three-year-old son, Eddie and one-year-old daughter Daisy, played. The family had a few toys stored in the garage, along with the treadmill, which they had unplugged so it couldn’t be turned on.
While Bianca’s back was turned, her son managed to plug the treadmill back in with her daughter’s feet stuck next to the conveyor belt.
“My one-year-old had sat down and put her feet in the end of the treadmill,” Bianca explains. “I assume she didn’t mean to get so close and was watching big brother as always. Sadly the treadmill started running as soon as it was plugged back in, her feet were pulled into the treadmill and they became jammed between the base and conveyor belt.”
“I heard the scream no parent likes hearing, which automatically told me something serious was wrong and she was scared or in pain. I ran over and managed to free her feet with some force.”
In the next moments, Bianca had to calm Daisy down while also attending to the injuries to her feet which had been caused by the friction from the treadmill’s conveyor belt.
“I scooped her up and was panicking but assuring her it was OK and she was OK, meanwhile trying to look at her feet without causing too much chaos as she was distraught,”Bianca recalls.
“I called my sister in law, who is a nurse, as I wasn’t sure how to treat it, being a friction burn versus a fire burn.”
Following the phone call, Bianca immediately took Daisy to the local GP for treatment, as the GP clinic was closer than a hospital and Bianca wanted to get medical attention for her daughter as soon as possible.
“Her feet didn’t look too bad as her skin looked very white initially, but once air got to it, it worsened. The nurses were able to help us,” she says.
Bianca realises that things could have been a lot worse. Her message to other parents is that a split second is all it takes for something to go wrong, so it’s best to keep fitness items such as treadmills completely out of reach of children.
“Please have treadmills stored away as even with supervision, things can turn bad, quickly.”
As her burns continue to heal, Daisy requires regular bandage changes and is unable to have a bath easily
Thankfully Daisy’s burns are healing – she will have to have treatment for the next few months, but she is returning back to her normal, happy self.
“She sees her siblings having a bath and is so desperate to get in but that will have to wait. She was lucky it wasn’t so much worse” shared Bianca with relief.
How to prevent and treat friction burns
The first aid treatment for friction burns is the same as for other burns. Run the affected area under cool running water for 20 minutes and seek medical assistance.
Do not apply ice, oil or creams as they can make the burn worse.
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