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Boy burned by beach bonfire.


THIS is the five-year-old boy who was left with horrific first-degree burns after stepping on a smouldering beach bonfire.

Oskar Smith, from Carrigaline in Cork, was on Rocky Bay beach on Saturday when he stumbled across the hot embers of a bonfire lit the previous evening.

He unknowingly stepped into the ash remnants of the fire, which covered an area around five feet wide, before jumping out.

Oskar's father Barry, who had taken his son and eight-year-old daughter to the popular bay for a day out, heard his son screaming in pain and ran to his aid.

Mr Smith said: "He took a step in and then another before realising the pain and then he jumped back and landed on the sand.

"It was a bit of a freak accident, the fire didn't look like it was smouldering and there had been some sand thrown over it."

When Mr Smith reached Oskar, the boy was sitting in the sand, holding his feet and screaming in pain.

He grabbed his son and took him to a nearby spring where he rinsed the child's feet to cool them and try to remove sand that had lodged in the burnt areas.

He dressed Oskar's feet in wet cloths and took him to the nearest pharmacy in a bid to numb the pain and halt the damage.

The pharmacist advised them to bring the child directly to Cork University Hospital where doctors treated Oskar immediately.

He had surgery to clean the burnt areas and separate his toes and doctors told his parents he had suffered first and seconddegree burns covering one third of each foot - equivalent to one per cent burns coverage.

Mr Smith said: "He is healing, the skin is pink now so that's a good sign.

"Obviously it was a huge shock and we were really worried about him for the first couple of days, but although he is in pain, he is OK and we have been told he could be up and walking in a week."

Oskar's mother said he was traumatised by the ordeal, and will be left with extensive scarring to his feet as a result.

She added: "It's been a terrible experience for him. I don't want this to happen to another child.

"The good weather brings people out to beaches for drinking and beach parties at night. But the reality is that the aftermath is extremely dangerous for young children."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 11, 2009
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