Kids love going outside. If they get to go in the yard and play with the fruit trees or frolic in the tall grass, they’re the happiest little people you’ll ever see. That’s why the little son of Katja Kafling was exuberant when his parents told him that they were going to take him to the beach. The little three-year-old Danish boy arrived at the beach with his parents and set off down the sand at a run – but when he suddenly started screaming bloody murder, his mother knew something was seriously, seriously wrong.
When Katja came up to her son, who had fallen to the ground, clutching at his legs, she saw what the problem was. His feet and lower legs were littered with bloody wounds. There had been something dangerous, hidden beneath the sand and now she wants to warn everyone about it.
Jacob, 3, arrived at the beach in Roskilde, Denmark with his family. While his mother lounged in the son, she allowed her son some independence and freedom, so he ran off and played in the sand. But as fate would have it, her son started crying, and his feet were covered in bloody cuts and lacerations.
What was the problem? Someone had kicked sand over the coals of a fire. It was still extremely hot and dangerous. Although most people think this is a fine thing to do. It actually is not. It’s very dangerous to kick sand onto a fire because it may put the fire out, but it keeps all the heat right there.
Dr. Marianne Cinat, this has the opposite effect. “The sand keeps the heat, making the hot embers even hotter,” he explains.
The boy’s feet were so burned that he was about to lose his toes. Fortunately, he got the right care from the socialist health care system in Denmark and had expert surgeons on hand who were able to transplant skin from other parts of his body to his feet. The repair worked at the moment, but he needed repeat surgeries and treatments to keep his feet in tip-top shape.
It’s been a few years since Jacob played on top of the hot coals at the beach. He is still a happy boy, but his feet were left with permanent scars.
Along with the photo of her son’s burned feet, she shared the following message, which has since been translated from Dutch to English via Facebook.
“Dear all. A few days ago I read – again – about a man who had had his feet burned on a beach due to embers that were not off properly. As you all know, our Jakob burned his little tootsies to recognition when he was three years old by stepping in a fire that was covered with sand. He was close to losing his toes and must live with the scars always. He has it – despite scars – good today, and is a happy 7-year-old with mastered motor skills and physics. But it could have ended differently. And it cost a year’s admissions, great physical pain, and a long rehabilitation. Not to mention what it did to our hearts. So remember now: Fire is extinguished with water – and not with sand.”
Make sure you extinguish fires the right way – with water.
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