Garden tools may be more dangerous than you think.
An Arizona mother recently scalded her baby when attempting to fill up his kiddie pool with cool water. The child is now suffering from severe burns, and it is all a result of the intense and dangerous heat that has been sweeping through the American West.
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In a report recently covered by Today, it is revealed that Dominique Woodger was just trying to fill up the kiddie pool in the backyard to give her nine-month-old son a place to cool off — something she claims she does every Monday, but which must have seemed like an especially good idea in the scorching heat — when the dangerous deed occurred.
Woodger picked up her garden hose, which had been sitting out in the dangerous heat, and put the boy in the kiddie pool. She then activated the hose, ready to fill up the pool, and water began to come out of the sprinkler attachment at the end. She’d forgotten the dangerous amount of heat the hose — and the water inside — had been subjected to.
The young boy began screaming as soon as the spray hit him, but Woodger later said she thought he had just been bawling out of surprise, as babies are wont to do. She did not realize he was actually screaming in pain resulting from the water’s dangerous heat, which burn center officials later estimated may have been at 150-190 degrees Fahrenheit.
“I thought he was crying because he was mad, because he hates when he gets sprayed in the face. I didn’t think that it was burning him,” explains Woodger.
Judging by the fact that the baby received second-degree burns from the dangerous experience, says ABC 15, it must have been at least 10 seconds before Woodger realized that her son’s continuing squeals were not just typical baby braying but bona fide shrieks of agony resulting from high levels of heat. Either that or she spotted the dangerous-looking burns developing all over his body.
Either way, Woodger realized what she had accidentally done, ran inside out of the stifling heat, and called emergency services.
Ambulances were sent out, and while she was waiting, Woodger inspected the damage caused by the dangerous heat.
“It’s heartbreaking. It is. It sucks,” Woodger would reflect later.
“All of it was peeling. He had blisters all over the right side.”
After the ambulance arrived and transported Woodger and her son to the hospital, the boy was admitted to the burn ward. Once there, it was confirmed that he did indeed suffer from second-degree burns on about 30 percent of his body.
Doctors say the young boy is lucky the damage was not more severe. Intense heat, especially scalding water, is especially dangerous for young children, noted Dr. Kevin Foster, director of Phoenix’s Arizona Burn Center, because their skin is thinner than that of an adult and heat can burn through it more quickly.
Water from a hose left out in dangerous heat, Foster continued, is a prime candidate for causing the kind of damage he is talking about.
“It doesn’t reach boiling, but it does get almost there. It’s about as hot as coffee coming out of the pot.”
“A burn happens almost instantaneously at that temperature,” he explained.
Ms. Woodger did not face any charges; she was only reprimanded and told that she ought to be more careful, what with the dangerous heat levels Arizona is experiencing.
“Just be careful,” Woodger would tell news sources after leaving the hospital with her son. “Just touch [the water] before you spray – before you let your kids near it.”
She adds that she wishes she herself had heard such a warning before putting her son in such a dangerous situation.
Luckily, the nine month-old Woodger is going to be fine. Of course, there will be a period of recovery and the skin pigmentation of the burned area may change a bit, but there will be no permanent damage or scarring.
[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]