Laura Chambers is a part-time estate agent. She lives with her partner, Sam, a joiner, and their son, Archie, who is now 2 years old. When Archie was 20 months, Laura saved him from lifelong scarring after a hot drink scalded his legs. Luckily, Laura had attended a Mini First Aid class two weeks beforehand, during which she learned how to treat burns and scalds. Laura tells her own story:
"We were in a cafe on a break away in the Lake District when Archie pulled a cup of coffee over and the hot drink scalded his legs.
You never think something like that will happen to you, and had it happened two weeks earlier, I'd have frozen in panic, looking for someone to help me. Fortunately, a week before the accident I'd been to a Mini First Aid class where I'd learned basics such as CPR and how to treat burns.
I'd nipped to the bathroom after ordering drinks, and my partner, Sam, had taken our drinks and Archie to a table outside. When I returned a minute later, I found Archie screaming and Sam had jumped out of his seat. I knew immediately what had happened, and grabbed Archie and ran to the bathroom. I yelled to Sam to bring the nappy bag as I had packed a simple first aid kit.
I got him under the water with all his clothes on before I tried to take his clothes off. I learned on the course that if it's a bad burn the clothes will be stuck to it, so taking them off can take the skin off too. I got his legs under the cold water for a while before I tried to take his trousers off. Thankfully his trousers had protected most of his legs. But his ankles had been exposed and were red and swollen. I put Archie's legs back under the cold water. He was being sick and screaming in pain but I was surprisingly composed as I tried to calm him. I kept Archie under the cold water for about 20 minutes, while Sam went to get the car to take him to hospital.
When Sam arrived, I took Archie out of the sink and applied burn gel on his ankles. I then asked the café staff for cling film – they looked a bit confused but I’d learned it was a good way of keeping the burn clean which is essential. I covered the burned area loosely in cling film. Then we got him in the car; this all happened within half an hour of the coffee being spilt. The 40-minute journey to hospital seemed so long — I remained calm but Archie was crying and I had to stop him touching his legs.
When we got to the hospital, Archie had calmed down. The nurses checked his ankles, which were still red, but they said I'd done all the right things. Cooling the skin had really helped and he didn't need to be admitted. The burn covered a 5cm diameter on both ankles. They bandaged him up and we were told to come back every 48 hours to check the wound. A week later, they took the bandages off and Archie had healed incredibly well. The hospital staff said that everything I'd done had helped prevent scarring.
It was only after we'd come out of hospital that first time that I broke down in tears, the emotion of it hitting me. But I'm so thankful I took the Mini First Aid course. I'd seen an advert on Facebook that it was taking place at the local church and it was only £20 for a two-hour course. I'd always wanted to do one, but when I checked they were always too expensive.
I don't like to think what would have happened if I hadn't done it. The hospital staff said that by keeping him under the cold water for 20 minutes, I'd ensured the burn hadn't gone into the deeper layers of the skin. Now the skin looks normal and Archie is toddling about, happy as ever!"