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Eva’s story – In the blink of an eye

We know how powerful it is when parents share their stories as it helps others feel less alone – as well as helping to raise vital awareness of every day dangers that can cause burns and scalds to children. We are very grateful to Eva, mum of Adam, for sharing their story of a hot drink spill that occurred when Adam was 22 months old.

On 14th August 2022, Eva was making a cup of tea for a friend in the kitchen, along with her son Adam who was 22 months old. She noticed that he was playing with the door and not wanting him to get his fingers trapped, moved to stop him, accidentally knocking the cup of boiling hot tea on the kitchen top, which then fell on to Adam’s head and right shoulder. 

Eva and Adam’s dad, Haitham, immediately administered first aid, holding him over the sink to run water over his head and then took off his clothes to realise that the skin on his shoulder and arm had blistered and was peeling off.  They took him to the shower and applied more cool water for a few minutes before deciding to go straight to their local A&E which was only 10 minutes away.   It was a very distressing time for them, and they were heartbroken to witness him in pain.

Adam's scald scar

Eva recalls him saying: “Mummy, it’s tea, it hurts.”

When they arrived in A&E they were seen very quickly, and Adam was put under lukewarm water for 20 minutes. The staff then cleaned the burn and put a dressing on.  Following this, they were able to go home, which the family found very reassuring, as it gave Adam some normality during a distressing time.

They had to attend regular appointments to have the burn dressing changed, prior to which Adam was given morphine to help him endure the pain from the cleaning procedure. This was extremely distressing for Eva and Haitham to witness, however the staff did everything possible to help.  Adam received toys and was distracted by a dedicated play specialist during and after procedures. The physiotherapists encouraged Adam to stretch and lift his arm to prevent any restricted movement in the most affected area around his shoulder. As part of the scar management plan, they were offered a skin graft to help reduce future scarring, however they made the decision to continue with dressings and the alternative scar management options, which included silicone gel treatment and wearing a pressure garment.

In April 2023 Eva, Haitham and Adam were invited to join the Children’s Burns Trust family weekend held at the Firefighter’s charity rehabilitation centre in Penrith.  At this event, they were able to meet other families, share experiences, speak to the physiotherapists and psychologists and enjoy a range of fun activities together. They met another family who had fundraised for their local burns service and this was hugely inspiring to Eva, who returned home determined to fundraise for the Sheffield burns service who had provided such amazing care to them.

Eva has now decided to share their story to help raise awareness of how, in the blink of an eye, a hot tea accident can happen in the kitchen and shares these words to everyone reading this story;

We are beyond grateful to everyone at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Burns Trust for being incredibly professional, compassionate, and supportive of our healing journey. Thank you for helping raise awareness with stories like ours from across the country. We believe that everything happens for a reason and wish to pass on a message of support to everyone going through a difficult time right now. It will all get better with time, eventually building on your resilience and inner wisdom.”


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