Chris X

Chris’s daughter sustained a burn to the palm of her hand after she touched the counter of an electric hob which was hot. He felt a sense of “immense guilt” because of the burn.

Chris’s daughter was 2 years old when she burnt the palm of her hand. At the time of the burn, Chris was cooking in the kitchen with his daughter. He picked his daughter up and sat her on the counter of the worktop, something which before the burn Chris would do normally. Whilst briefly looking away to look at the sink, his daughter placed her palm on the hot countertop and then immediately started screaming.

Chris said he managed to stay “quite calm” during this time, and instinctively ran his daughter’s hand under cool water. He held her hand under the running water for 20 minutes, which he said felt like much longer. After phoning his sister, who is a GP, for advice, Chris was told to take his daughter to a hospital nearby which had a children’s burns unit.

Intense feelings of guilt were “kicking in” for Chris at this stage. He felt “adamant” that he was the one to take his daughter to the children’s burns unit because he viewed the accident as “his fault”. Chris and his daughter were seen to at the burn’s unit immediately after they arrived, and he said the care they received was “fantastic”.

The nurses at the children’s burns unit tried to distract Chris’ daughter whilst they removed her dressings to clean the burn. He said the nurse’s professionalism, warmth, and friendliness helped him and his daughter and provided them with some reassurance. Chris did not feel judged by the staff at the burns unit as they reiterated that “these things happen” and that “kids make mistakes”. Though this helped Chris to not feel so judged, he said his feelings of guilt lasted a lot longer than the incident itself.

Chris felt as though he had “failed” as a parent and apologised to his wife because he’d “allowed one of their children to become damaged”. His wife was “really good about it” and offered Chris the emotional support he needed. He felt grateful for her support as he said he was beating himself up enough.

As time went on and his daughter’s burn continued to heal, Chris felt “better about the whole thing”. He said his confidence consistently grew in his daughter’s ability to make a full recovery.

After his daughter was burnt, Chris was hesitant to attend a camping weekend with friends. However, after attending, Chris found that talking to others was helpful and helped him to accept that accidents are normal, some of his friends shared similar anecdotes with him about their children.

Chris wants other parents going through a similar situation to know that feeling guilty is “normal” and feelings that you have “failed as a parent” can be profound. He believes that talking to others about what happened, as well as the passage time, “help enormously”.


Chris X felt relieved that the healthcare practitioners treating his daughter were not judgmental.

Gender Male

After his daughter was burnt, Chris X was hesitant to attend a camping weekend with family friends because he knew it would “come up in discussion”. However, talking to other parents helped him to realise that “these things happen”.

Gender Male

Chris X experienced “immense guilt” after his daughter was burnt and felt that he had “failed to protect” her.

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Chris X said his wife had been “immensely supportive” when their daughter was burnt and reassured him that “these things happen”.

Gender Male

Chris X’s daughter burnt the palm of her hand when she touched a hot electric hob.

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Chris X appreciates that no one has said anything judgmental about his child’s burn circumstances to him, and instead there had been a “unified message” of understanding.

Gender Male