Catherine’s son was 14 months old when he was burnt after touching a hot BBQ. She took him to A&E but was told they would need to attend an appointment at a specialist burns centre. Catherine found that talking about the experience was the key to managing her emotions.

Catherine’s son was 14 months old when he sustained a burn to his hand after touching a hot BBQ. Catherine and her husband took their son to A&E where he was assessed and given some ibuprofen and dressed the burn. After going to their local A&E department, Catherine was told she would need to drive to a more specialised burns centre.

When they arrived at the burns centre, Catherine was told that her son’s burn would need to be cleaned, and the blister that had formed would need to be removed. This was to minimise the risk of infection. Catherine found this “heart-breaking” to watch, though the healthcare staff were “very supportive”. After being cleaned, her son’s burn was redressed with bandages.

Catherine said her son found it difficult to crawl in the initial few days after the burn as the wound was still raw. She said there weren’t many difficulties getting back to everyday life after her son was burnt and this was because the burn began to heal quickly. Catherine’s son was able to return to nursery as the healthcare staff from the burns centre went to his nursery and taught the childcare practitioners how to clean and dress the wound if needed.

In terms of her relationship with her husband, Catherine found the period after her son was burnt to be a “difficult time”. They both struggled with feelings of guilt and blame and tried not to blame one another. Talking to each other regularly helped them to cope with their emotions, as well as recognising their shared goal was for their “son to be better and support him as much as you can”.

Catherine also found it beneficial to talk to other parents and her local baby group. These groups were a good support system for her and helped her to understand that most parents go through similar experiences to her.

Catherine found attending local baby groups, as well as humour, to be good coping mechanisms.

Age at interview 30

Catherine’s son was burnt after he touched a hot BBQ.

Age at interview 30